Seven men convicted of conspiracy to steal artefacts from museums in England worth up to £57m sentenced to combined total of over 37 years The organised crime group was dubbed the Rathkeale Rovers because of their links to the Irish town. They specialised in targeting high-value objects in a string of break-ins, including at Cambridge’s Fitzwilliam Museum and Durham’s Oriental Museum in 2012. Although the items stolen in Durham and Cambridge were valued at around £17 million, it is believed that they might have fetched more than three times that figure on the expanding Chinese auction market.
Members of the same gang also masterminded an offence at Gorringes Auction House in Lewes, East Sussex, and organised the disposal of stolen artefacts in what the judge said was “an extremely sophisticated conspiracy”.Like much of the illicit art trade one imagines. Either that or its the coin fairies again. With the trade in illicit antiquities in mind, it is worth watching the police video here, where dealers are called "cowardly".