Saturday, 8 July 2017

Laundering by Misdescription Rife in 'Art' World

The mislabelling of packages to prevent them 'attracting the notice of Customs officials' as one dealer in dugup antiquities recently put it continues to be seen as a method widely used by criminals involved in smuggling (NZ Herald on Sunday, 'Thieves behind million-dollar art swindle unlikely to be caught, expert art recoverer says', 9 Jul, 2017):
A Customs spokesperson this week said it wasn't alerted to the art heist until the evening of April 1- giving thieves ample time to board a plane without raising suspicion. Experts spoken to agreed it wouldn't have been difficult for thieves to smuggle the works out of the country, either by rolling them up into a suitcase, or shipping them and labelling them as generic freight.
'Stamped metal discs', 'numismatic samples', 'clay tiles', 'garden ornaments', and 'potatoes' are labels that have been used by antiquities smugglers in the past. Exporters will continue to come up with imaginative euphemisms for 'illicit antiquities' just as long as those to whom they are sent are acquiescent in the process of deception and do not start demanding transparency and responsibility on the antiquities market.


'US Dealer publicly admits Laundering by Misdescription..' PACHI  Thursday, 27 April 2017

'Getting "Numismatic Specimens" Through Customs the "Classical Coins Way" ' PACHI Monday, 8 May 2017

'Deflecting the Attention of Prying Eyes' During Cross-Border Antiquities Movements PACHI Saturday, 27 May 2017 

'Laundering by Misdescription Again, a Common Practice in the No-Questions-Asked Antiquities TradePACHI Thursday, 6 July 2017

It is a common practice in several fields of criminal activity (Year End Report 2011 - United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime): 'money laundering by misdescription and undervaluation'.

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