Treasure-hunters ‘even from Sweden’, organised criminals and ‘lawless’ police in the Eastern Mediterranean: Online social organisation of looting and trafficking of antiquities from Turkey, Greece and Cyprus

I’m grateful that my monster study of treasure-hunters ‘even from Sweden’, organised criminals and ‘lawless’ police in the Eastern Mediterranean: online social organisation of looting and trafficking of antiquities from Turkey, Greece and Cyprus has been published in the open-access Revista d’Arqueologia de Ponent, in a special issue that spans Argentina, Spain, the United Kingdom, Lebanon, Syria and further afield, including Libya, Egypt, Palestine, Iraq and Yemen.

Abstract

There is too little empirical knowledge of looting and trafficking of cultural goods. There also remains doubt about the extent of organised cultural property crime. This study compiles open-source evidence – in the forms of automatically-generated data, netnographic data, market data and other empirical indicators – to try to assess who is involved, how they are involved and how they operate, both online and offline, in Turkey, Greece and Cyprus.

It documents transnational crime, organised crime and transnational organised crime, as well as criminal activity by law enforcement agents and political operatives. It highlights the scale, range and openness of the presentation of indicators of illicit activity by suspects in social networks, including Facebook and Instagram, plus the manipulation of data in those social networks. Ultimately, it demonstrates the need for cooperation of online platforms with civil society, and market countries with victimised countries, to support the rule of law and security.

Citation

Hardy, S A. 2020: “Treasure-hunters ‘even from Sweden’, organised criminals and ‘lawless’ police in the Eastern Mediterranean: Online social organisation of looting and trafficking of antiquities from Turkey, Greece and Cyprus”. Revista d’Arqueologia de Ponent, Number 30, 215-240. [DOI]

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