Greece arrests 44 for trafficking historical antiques
China Post reported
Greek police arrested a total of 44 people for illegal antiquities trafficking after they investigated the group's moves for months, officials said Sunday.
Police said they confiscated 9,200 silver and bronze coins dating from the 6th century B.C. to Byzantine times (4th to 15th century A.D.). They also confiscated 300 “small artifacts.”
The ringleader of the group, a 66-year-old retired customs official, would often travel abroad to arrange for the sale of the coins, police said. He, along with his two brothers, a daughter-in-law and another relative, formed the core of the group, while the other 39 would excavate in several places in northern and central Greece at the ringleader's request.
“We conducted 55 separate searches on Saturday,” regional police chief Vassilis Kanalis said in northern Polygyros, 580 kilometers (360 miles) northeast of Athens. “This was the culmination of a great investigation which began six months ago.”