Friday, 17 May 2019

US Authorities and Greek Policeman-Archaeologist Stop Illegal Coin Shipment from Munich

Archaeological evidence or
US Homeland Security Investigations repatriated 10 Greek coins to the Government of Greece, Tuesday, during a reception at the San Francisco Greek Consulate. HSI Special Agent David Keller of San Francisco and Hellenic Police Sgt. Orfeas Sotiriou of Athens, Greece, had collaborated to intercept these artefacts:
The 10 coins were allegedly smuggled out of various Aegean islands such as the Island of Samos. The island of Samos is not covered by modern structures and has a lot of open, unprotected fields. These unexcavated archaeological sites are subject to the illegal use of metal detectors by collectors who remove artifacts, such as coins, for unlawful sale and profit.[...] In late August 2016, HSI detained a FedEx package with the assistance of U.S. Customs and Border Protection at the FedEx facility in Memphis, TN. The shipment originated from a Munich-based, online coin dealer with previous violations for selling suspicious antiquities. This shipment contained five coins.[...] In September 2016, Keller interviewed the buyer of the intercepted package. During this interview, the buyer informed Keller that he made a purchase from the same seller a few months earlier for five other coins. Subsequently, the previously purchased coins were also evaluated and found to be Greek artifacts. “The seller never provided any documentation showing the coins were acquired and sold legally,” Keller said. “The buyer cooperated with our investigation and ultimately surrendered all 10 coins to HSI to be forfeited and repatriated to the Government of Greece.” Also an archeologist in Athens, Sotiriou reported that all 10 coins are estimated to be dated as early as 600 BCE and were minted in various locations throughout the Aegean Islands.
News Release: ICE Homeland Security Investigations returned looted Greek artifacts to rightful owner 16/05/2019

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