Saturday, 30 July 2011

ACCG members indicted on customs charges

Wayne G. Sayles had initially said (July 15th) that they would not be removing certain of their benefactors' names (coin dealers) from their website. Now he has written a text reversing this statement ('ACCG members indicted on customs charges' ACCG website July 27, 2011). It refers to "two members of the ACCG" who have "been indicted by a Federal Grand Jury in New York on criminal charges of customs violations involving the importation of Egyptian antiquities from Dubai". Note that he carefully does does not mention that among the items seized from the dealers were ancient coins.
"In response to this indictment, the ACCG Board of Directors has temporarily suspended the memberships of Alshdaifat and Khouli pending resolution of these charges. This action was taken by vote of the board in concert with paragraph IIIA of the guild bylaws. The board is hopeful that Mr. Alshdaifat and Mr. Khouli will be found innocent of these charges".
Now wait a second, what happened to innocent until proven guilty? Why is the ACCG not rushing to support their fellow dealers? Offering them help with legal fees? The time to suspend them is between a verdict (if unfavourable) and the appeal. Or does it mean that the ACCG in fact has no confidence in ("the board is hopeful...") the innocence of the dealers that have supported the ACCG since (I am sure Sayles will correct me if I am wrong) it began?Apparently the ACCG is aware that "It has been fairly common practice in years past to avoid describing coins in detail...". That seems to me to be the "collector's right" that the ACCG is intent on preserving in the case of coins imported from Cyprus, China, Italy and Greece. There should be more transparency in the coin trade.

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