Thursday, 14 February 2013

Drugs and Antiquities Smuggling Linked in Texas

Derek Fincham has a brief mention of a report from a Dallas news station which shows how the antiquities trade across the border between the US and Mexico is part of the illicit network moving illicit drugs across the same border (one way of course). The artefacts in the video came from looting of archaeological sites  near Big Bend National Park in Northern Mexico, while other artifacts were stolen during a museum heist in Cuatro Cienegas, Coahuila. If they'd not been intercepted by a HSI 'sting', they would have been sold on to no-questioned-asked dealers and collectors in the US and having once entered the market unchallenged, these stolen, looted and smuggled items would continue to move through (contaminate) it unchallenged. How frequent is this? How often are the culprits simply not caught by HSI? The movement of both commodities is surely not a simple one-off ad hoc afair, but involves organized supply and distribution networks.

Derek Fincham, '', Illicit Cultural property blog, 14th February 2013.

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