Thursday, 6 July 2017

Laundering by Misdescription Again, a Common Practice in the No-Questions-Asked Antiquities Trade

In relation to the hobby lobby case ARCA blog (Lynda Albertson) ask ' Civil Complaint requires forfeiture of thousands of cuneiform tablets and clay bullae, but is that enough?' The answer quite obviously is no. As Larry Rothfield‏ (@LarryChicago) notes
Billionaires can breathe easy. Get caught buying looted artifacts? No problem! Just give back and pay fine less than 1% your net worth.
Lynda summarises the case in the following manner, and it becomes clear that the main issue is again the practice of laundering by misdescription recently defended by veteran US dugup dealers like California's Dealer Dave. I wonder how the dealers' associations would spin this one? Probably they will just ignore the whole thing, hoping it will blow over:
The antiquities were shipped to Hobby Lobby and their associates by dealers in Israel and the United Arab Emirates (“UAE”), all of whom have been left unnamed in the civil complaint. The objects were shipped without required customs entry documentation being filed with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and bore shipping labels that falsely and misleadingly described their contents and their value, in some cases as “ceramic tiles” or “clay tiles (sample).” In truth, the mislabeled objects were ancient clay and stone artifacts that originate from the area of modern day Iraq, which had been smuggled into the United States after their contracted purchase in the Middle East. [...] As is often the case with illicit antiquities smuggled around the globe, the intercepted packages [...] had their shipping labels intentionally mislabeled, stating the country of origin as imports from Turkey and Israel, not Iraq. The shippers also used multiple shipping addresses for objects destined for a single recipient. This too is a technique used by smugglers of all types, not just illicit antiquities, as it is a means of avoiding scrutiny by customs authorities. [...] Hobby Lobby had executed an agreement to purchase the objects, despite their likely illicit origins, in 2010 for $1.6 million. They paid for the antiquities via wire payments to seven personal bank accounts held in the names of five individuals.

No comments:

Creative Commons License
Ten utwór jest dostępny na licencji Creative Commons Uznanie autorstwa-Bez utworów zależnych 3.0 Unported.