Macedonia Busts Artefacts Smuggling RingSkopje | 25 June 2010 | Sinisa-Jakov Marusic
Over 50 people, including museum directors, municipal councillors, university professors, police officers and businessmen, were arrested on Thursday in a massive police operation aimed at busting an archaeological artefacts smuggling ring. The action, dubbed “Phalanx”, which began on Thursday, also resulted in the seizure of large quantities of ancient coins, valuable pottery and ceramics, bronze jewellery, icons, old weapons and various other pieces, Minister of Interior Gordana Jankuloska told media.
Archeological dig site at the Skopje Fortress
The police said the value of the pieces seized cannot be disclosed at the moment.
Some 60 locations where the smugglers were believed to be hiding the artefacts intended for illegal trade were searched during the operation, which took place in several towns across the country and in the capital Skopje.
Police raided suspects' homes and offices in Prilep, Stip, Negotino, Demir Kapija, Strumica and Krusevo. The suspects will be brought before an investigative judge who is to determine whether they should be kept in custody or released.
Initial reports indicate that the group was well prepared, with archaeologists who estimated the value of the artefacts, smugglers who transported them and policemen who turned blind eye.
Most of the artefacts originated from the archeologically rich dig sites in Macedonia such as Isar Marvinci, Vrance, Mariovo, Cipigovo and others. They were intended for smuggling to Greece, Italy and Austria through well-organised routes, police sources revealed.
During the operation, the police also caught several illegal diggers red-handed as they were excavating valuables at the dig sites.
Nichts kann verwundern, denn Griechenland, Italien und die Antiken Mafia, sind eng mit Staatlichen Stellen verbunden. Jeder weiss dies seit Jahren und Verhaftungen auch in Griechenland und Italien von Museums Direktoren endeten immer mit Schmiergeld.
Në Maqedoni arrestohen 48 persona për trafikim të artefakteve
Shkup, 25qershor - Policia e Maqedonisë ka arrestuar 48 persona, përfshirë edhe zyrtarë të policisë, nën dyshimet se kanë plaçkitur disa lokalitete arkeologjike dhe kanë trafikuar në mënyrë të paligjshme artefakte, njoftoi ministrja e Brendshme e Maqedonisë, Gordana Jankulovska.
“Gjatë këtij aksioni, kemi arrestuar 48 veta. Kërkimet janë bërë në 60 shtëpi, ku kemi gjetur monedha të shumta, figura dhe qeramikë, që do të trafikoheshin në mënyrë të paligjshme”, u tha gazetarëve Jankulovska