Friday 8 April 2011

Jordanian Lorry Driver Detained in Antiquity Smuggling Case

A few days ago I was discussing here what appears to be the case of smuggling from Jordan to Israel of items bought from antiquity sellers, yesterday - according to the Luxor Times - a Jordanian lorry driver was detained, apparently on suspicion of smuggling Egyptian items into Jordan:
The Customs Administration of Nuweiba port, south of Sinai, in co-operation with the police managed to stop Karim Hassan Abd Elfatah, Jordanian driver, who was driving a refrigerator car loaded with cheese, when the x-ray scan detector showed 33 rolls contains 29 pharaonic statues and a large collection of Pharaonic and Islamic pottery beside a quantity of gold in a secret caches in the car. The driver is in custody and a report was filed on the incident and the defendant has to stand in front of the General Prosecutor.
Further (and different) details from Al-Masry Al-Youm:
Egyptian authorities arrested a Jordanian truck driver as he attempted to smuggle 107 Pharaonic and Islamic artifacts from Nuweiba into Jordan at dawn Thursday. The suspect had 40 metal statuettes, 52 amulets, five wooden masks and other artifacts including a copper vase and four metal shields. Security forces found the artifacts in a number of cartons and rolls in the truck as they inspected it at the Nuweiba port on the Red Sea, according to a security official. Director General of Nuweiba’s Antiquities Department Abdel Rehim Rayhan said in statements to state-run news agency MENA that the seized items are subject to antiquities protection laws. He added that security forces also found 17 silver and gold pieces that are not antiquities and do not fall under the laws.
It is not stated where the guy was driving from, or where (in Jordan?) he was going, but the route chosen avoids crossing Israel. The port at Nuweiba is pretty compact, do they really have x-ray scanners capable of picking up antiquities in a truckload of cheese?

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