Cyprus Police seize 1.383 artworks and antiquities during operation “Pandora”

The Police in Cyprus have seized 1.383 artworks and antiquities in the framework of European operation “Pandora” against illegal trafficking of cultural objects.

A total of 3.561 works of art, cultural items and antiquities have been seized and 75 persons arrested at European level, a Police press release said on Monday.

The operation, led by Cyprus and Spain, was carried out last October and November, supported by EUROPOL, INTERPOL, UNESCO and the World Customs Organisation (WCO).

“The operation focused on combating offences of theft and illegal trafficking of cultural goods” the press release said, adding that “the operation focused on cultural looting and trafficking of cultural goods in order to determine the profile of the criminal groups dealing with the above offences, as well as possible links with other criminal fields”.

As a result, 75 persons have been arrested and 92 cases are being investigated.

During the operation a total of 48.588 persons, 29.340 vehicles and 50 vessels were checked and 3.561 works of art and cultural items were seized, half of which are ancient items.

The Police in Cyprus carried out 44 checks and seized 1.383 antiquities and 13 metal detectors. Another 40 items were found at the Post Office in Larnaca.

Cyprus, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Bosnia – Herzegovina, Croatia, Germany, Greece, Italy, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Spain, Switzerland and the United Kingdom participated in the operation.

source: CNA