Tuesday 3 January 2017

The Churkin Statistics on Illicit Trade Again

Conflict antiquities
In an article on World News Daily (reposted it says from a text ["Investigators target trafficking in heritage – for terror"] in Joseph Farah's 'G2 Bulletin'): 'ISIS entrepreneurs plunder history to fund jihad' published 24th Dec 2016, we read:
Terrorists in the Middle East, specifically ISIS in recent years, have plundered banks, sold oil and collected ransoms to pay for their crime spree, according to a report in Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin. And sold history. Literally, through its artifacts. The subject of stolen cultural artifacts – and how they can be seized and kept from the underground international markets – was the focal point of a recent meeting among international law enforcement interests at the UNESCO office in Beirut. 
Interestingly the article cited Russian Ambassador to the United Nations Vitaly Churkin from April last year. These claims and their implications were discussed by me at length back in April last year:
'Ambassador Churkin Accuses Antiquity Collectors of Buying Directly from ISIL' PACHI Wednesday, 6 April 2016

'America Failing to Check Claims of Illicit Syrian Antiquities Sales in USA' PACHI Wednesday, 6 April 2016

'Turkey investigating Russian claims on smuggled Syrian antiquities' PACHI Wednesday, 6 April 2016

'Turkish and US dealers named as sellers of "Illicit Antiquities' ' PACHI Thursday, 7 April 2016

 'IADAA and Ambassador Churkin' PACHI Thursday, 7 April 2016

 'Where Ambassador Churkin did his "Research"? ' PACHI Friday, 8 April 2016

In that discussion, I identify what seems to me to be the most likely source of the figures quoted. It is interesting to see that in then US these figures still being quoted as "intelligence" reports.

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