Wednesday, 10 July 2019

Kapoor to Face trial in US?

Chasing Aphrodite report that US authorities have finally brought criminal charges against American antiquities dealer Subhash Kapoor and seven members of his alleged smuggling network. It seems that Kapoor himself has been charged with 86 criminal counts by Manhattan DA ranging from Grand Larceny to Possession of Stolen Property and Conspiracy. These charges come seven years after a raid by Federal agents on his Manhattan gallery in July 2012. Interestingly, it is also reported that among those charged was British antiquities restorer Neil Perry Smith, who faces 28 criminal counts related to his work for Kapoor preparing recently looted objects for sale. This gentleman's lawyers were snooping around this blog when I mentioned him in the context of work on some Cambodian objects. Chasing Aphrodite also note "Smith's attorneys threatened legal action when we wrote about him back in 2012". I think conservators everywhere will take an interest in the outcome of these charges. It transpires that another conservator is also mentioned in court documents, Richard Salmon, a British born antiquities restorer in NYC, is reportedly facing 47 criminal counts for his work with the Kapoor network
The five additional people charged are alleged members of Kapoor's Indian smuggling network: Sanjeeve Asokan, Dean Dayal, Ranjeet Kanwar (aka Shantoo), Aditya Prakash and Vallabh Prakash. Collectively they face dozens of additional criminal counts. Kapoor's global antiquities smuggling network is described in staggering detail over the 186 page criminal complaint, 8 arrest warrants and hundreds of exhibits filed in Manhattan courts. A case study like none other.
This promises to be big.

Tom Mashberg, 'Investigators Say a Ring Smuggled $145 Million in Ancient Artifacts' New York Times 11th July 2019. 

Jim Mustian, 'SmugglingArt ring charged with smuggling $143 million in antiquities' APNews 11th July 2019. 
The lead prosecutor, Matthew Bogdanos, told the AP that none of the defendants is believed to be in the United States. He said the authorities asked Interpol to issue international warrants for their arrest.

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