Monday, September 02, 2013

A Window on Antiquities Smuggling from Syria

A very interesting piece profiling a low-level smuggler. A few remarks about what it shows:

1. cellphone technology is integrated into the illicit trade, making it easy for anyone to share photos
2. countries bordering on nations like Syria or Egypt should be pressured to seize any antiquities crossing their borders, and to restrict their own antiquities dealers from traveling within 50 miles of the border (or take other measures to try to disrupt the network in those countries). Turkey in particular needs to be chastised for turning a blind eye.
3. Antiquities smuggling is often not done independently of the smuggling of other illicit goods, including, importantly, weapons. Matthew Bogdanos, here's another piece of evidence for you.
4.  Many smalltime smugglers have no idea of the value of the items they are smuggling.

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