Saturday 24 January 2015

Looters and dealers Arrested in Campania

Apparently one of the seized artefacts
"Italian police on Friday arrested 18 people in Campania and Lazio after recovering 1,500 ancient artefacts looted from major archaeological sites in Campania [...]. Those arrested were part of an international gang that dug up and trafficked precious objects, police said. The total value of the recovered objects is estimated at 2.5 million euros. Two of the objects were amphorae dating to the 2nd century A.D., attributed to the ancient Greek painter Assteas and stolen from Paestum, which alone are estimated to be worth 1.5 million euros. The arrests were made in the provinces of Caserta, Naples, Salerno, Frosinone and Latina. Three of the arrested were jailed: alleged ring leader Rocco Verrengia, 58, and alleged professional stolen goods dealers Angelo Valente, 32, and Benedetto D'Aniello, 67. The other fifteen arrested, all alleged to be artefact looters, were placed under house arrest. A total of 43 people were under investigation in the operation". 

 18 arrests as 1,500 artefacts recovered' Gazzetta del Sud 23/01/2015

UPDATE 26.1.15

From another newspaper, we get more information:
The operation was carried out mainly in Naples, Caserta and the surrounding southern Campania region, although some arrests were also made in two cities near Rome, Adnkronos agency said. Those arrested were charged with conspiracy to antiquities looting and international trafficking.  [...] Among the artifacts were also large pieces of fresco from a Pompeii villa, ancient Greek vases from Paestum, and other Greek pottery dated from the 4th century BC to the 2nd century BC, [...] . Faked artifacts worth around 1.6 million euros (1.8 million U.S. dollars) were also seized during the operation.
See also: 'Furto di reperti storici e archeologici: le forze dell’ordine arrestano 18 persone e recuperano ben 1500 reperti. La banda agiva su commissioni da Spagna e Usa (Video)' [Italian)]and the accompanying video:

film by carabinieri on the bust

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