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Iraq, the ISF dismantle an artifacts smuggler network

The ISF dismantled an artifacts smuggler network, 4 members captured in Babylon, now there is a hunt for international accomplices. Baghdad has already recovered 34,000 pieces, but the phenomenon has not yet been defeated

The Iraqi security forces have dismantled an international criminal network specializing in the theft and smuggling of artifacts. The ISF arrested four people in the Babylon governorate and seized three manuscripts, which were about to be illegally transferred out of the Middle Eastern country. Additional investigations are currently underway to identify the rest of the network’s members, who operate in other countries. The question of the recovery of stolen artifacts and archeological finds since 2003 is a deeply felt issue in Iraq. Baghdad, in fact, has been working for years with numerous governments to regain possession of its historical heritage and has so far managed to return home more than 34,000 pieces. Illicit trafficking, however, continues even if with less intensity than when ISIS controlled a large part of the state. As a result, efforts to combat the phenomenon have recently been increased, also thanks to international intel and operational support.

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