Friday, 15 December 2017

Manhattan DA now has Antiquities Trafficking Unit

The Manhattan District Attorney's office is opening an Antiquities Trafficking Unit to bring increased focus on suspiciously unpapered artefacts in the trade passing through the region and prosecute criminal offenders. This is obviously a good step forward in fight against dodgy antiquities on US market. This has the potentiate of affecting dodgy dealers outside the jurisdiction;
Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., today announced the formation of the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office’s first-ever Antiquities Trafficking Unit [...] When a new matter is brought to the attention of the assistant district attorneys, analysts, and paralegal who staff the unit, a team is assigned to collect information about the origin of the item in question, potential criminality with respect to its possession, and the trafficking network, where applicable, associated with the movement of the artifact. From there on, members of the unit work closely with partners in law enforcement and foreign governments to gather the evidence needed to seize the item, prosecute criminal offenders, and return the artifact to the rightful owner. 
This unit will formalize the collaborative processes and partnerships that led to the previous successful recoveries proudly listed in the press release. It is time London got one, focussing specifically on the massive antiquities trade which passes through it, rather than one that treats the issue as just part of the wider 'art and antiques' market.

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