40,000 artifacts seized in international looting crackdown
An international crackdown on the illegal trade of cultural artifacts such as coins, maps and musical instruments led to the seizures of 40,000 objects last year, police organisation Interpol said Thursday.
Between October and December in 2017, customs officials and police coordinated thousands of controls and raids in 81 countries to combat traffickers and recover objects of historical importance.
Auction houses, museums and private homes yielded firearms, Roman coins and illicit ivory sculptures, while investigators also targeted online sales sites where around 20 percent of all seizures were made.
“The involved law enforcement agencies monitored thousands of market places and internet announcements in order to detect and seize looted or stolen cultural goods,” Interpol said in a statement.