Friday 20 April 2012

The "Mom and Pop Small Businesses" of the US Antiquities Trade

According to the PNG and IAPN's lobbyist Peter Tompa, the  US versus Morris Khouli case involves a "small businessman" who could not quite manage the task of getting customs declarations filled in properly. The term "small businesses" is nowadays frequently bandied about in the coiney rhetoric (as in "President Obama should be helping small businesses, not stopping them trading in smuggled goods"). It is therefore pretty interesting to see an example of what the principal lobbyist of the IPN and IAPN want us to understand by this term. It turns out that:  
HSI special agents seized almost $80,000 and more than 200 [...] antiquities from Khouli worth approximately $2.5 million. Other seizures from Khouli's store included a variety of antiquities and thousands of ancient coins valued at $1 million.
So he had stock and loose cash worth together 4.3 million dollars seized, and yet he is still trading. This is apparently the IPN and IAPN's definition of a "small business". The whole stock of V-coins is worth only five times the stated value of Mr Khouli's stock. Tompa suggests Khouli himself  " might not own the stock ", a bit ambiguous in the circumstances. So who does Mr Tompa suspect stands behind Mr Khouli and his imports? Nevertheless, the precise ownership of the items Mr Khouli sells is not the question, but the scale of a business characterised as one of the "mom and pop small businesses" for which the ACCG claims to be fighting.

No comments:

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