The State Agency for National Security (DANS) has investigated an organized criminal group reportedly involved in cultural racketeering and smuggling antiques and antiquities from Bulgaria to western European countries, the US and Russia. According to the press office of DANS, the special operation was conducted at seven sites in the cities of Veliko Tarnovo and Shumen last week under the supervision of the prosecuting authority. During investigative activities the authorities seized a gold coin together with over 100 ancient and medieval silver and bronze coins, and a large number of bronze antiques. There were also weapons seized, including combat weapons and a heavy machine gun with ammo.
Meanwhile, though this one group has been caught at it, huge numbers of ancient artefacts from Bulgarian sources continue to circulate on the international antiquities market, bought and sold by people who have absolutely no interest and no concerns about where they come from and through whose hands they have passed. Zero concerns. And it is that factor, and that factor alone, that allows the illicit trade to flourish in the shadow of any licit trade that may be considered to exist.
'Bulgaria Busts Int'l Antiquities Trafficking Ring', Novinite.com August 27, 2014.