Thursday 24 December 2020

Egyptian authorities bust fraudulent antiquities trafficking ring


Egypt’s Interior Ministry announced on Thursday that it has arrested members of a gang specialized in swindling and defrauding the public through the sale of counterfeit artiefacts (Egyptian authorities bust fraudulent antiquities trafficking ring Al-Masry Al-Youm December 24, 2020). The gang was allegedly busted while preparing to ship the artifacts outside of Egypt:

The country’s Criminal Investigations Department, along with its Tourism and Antiquities Police and National Security Agency identified a gang of five members, two of whom have previous criminal history. Preliminary investigations found that the gang members advertised the counterfeit artifacts on social media, claiming them to be originals. The gang used a villa in the Sheikh Zayed area in 6th of October City, Giza, as a base for their criminal activity. The investigations also uncovered that four customers went to the villa to see some of the offered pieces. A security campaign targeted the villa, and as soon as the forces arrived, they were met with gunfire.
To be honest, I find this whole report spurious, the statues shown seem to be gypsum plaster, as 'social media artefacts' their net value is not great. You don't need a five-man gang with a security detail of another eight men to trade nine plaster casts. The report is inconsistent. What's going on?

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