Saturday, 11 May 2013

Peruvian Smuggling Mystery Followed by Miami Forfeit

While US auction houses flog off Precolumbian artefacts from the southern part of the continent which have zero documentation of how they "surfaced' on the market, and a bunch of disgruntled US dugup dealers are protesting that they should not be required to show any such documentation, the trade in dugups goes on. Illicit acts are committed, the smuggling of a fresh bunch of dugups into the US to "surface" on the no-questions-asked market goes on. Some people apparently engaged in it are caught, many are not. Rick St Hilaire has a discussion of one case:  'U.S. Attorney Files Complaint to Forfeit Peruvian Artifacts Seized at Miami International Airport', Saturday, May 11, 2013.

A Peruvian citizen took 29 (Moche, Chavin, Inca) artefacts onto a flight which landed in Miami International Airport back in August 2010, and they were found in his luggage by U.S. Customs and Border Protection. The objects were seized. Now Federal prosecutors in Miami on Friday have filed a complaint to forfeit these ancient artifacts so they can be returned to Peru. It is not clear what happened to the carrier of the Peruvian artefacts. Although he is named by St Hilaire, he seems to have disappeared.

This forfeiture nicely coincides with Federal agents filing a complaint to forfeit the ancient artefacts coin dealer Sayles and his ACCG dealer pals tried to illegally import into the US in flagrant disregard of the pertinent regulations a year earlier (April 16, 2009).

Vignette: greedy US dugup dealers and collectors are pilfering the heritage of generations of other countries. What do they care?

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