Posts tagged ‘organised crime’

04/07/2019

online trafficking of cultural objects from crisis zones and conflict zones and open-source analysis of the illicit trade

Thanks to the support of the Scandinavian Research Council for Criminology (Nordisk Samarbejdsråd for Kriminologi), I was able to participate in their Research Seminar on Crime, Crime Control and Criminology in the Digital Era in Helsingør, Denmark, on the 8th-10th May 2019.

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24/12/2018

antiquities dealer Fuat Aydıner, aviation service CEO Gökhan Sarıgöl and 14,000 cultural objects

The basics of this case are fairly simple, yet its implications may be far-reaching, if it is ever satisfactorily concluded, whether it results in convictions or acquittals. This post covers the sources; the question of whether it is the biggest case in the history of the Republic of Turkey (which it may be, by one practically immeasurable definition); a summary of the priceless objects and fake objects that have been seized; a summary of the metal-detectors, money, guns and drugs that have been seized; and a summary of the suspects, with separate sections on unspecified businessman Onur Uğurlu, antiquities dealer Fuat Aydıner and aviation businessman Gökhan Sarıgöl. Then, there is a note on conspiracy and coincidence.

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03/04/2018

‘black archaeology’ in Eastern Europe: metal detecting, illicit trafficking of cultural objects, and ‘legal nihilism’ in Belarus, Poland, Russia, and Ukraine

I’m happy to say that Public Archaeology has published my article on ‘black archaeology’ in Eastern Europe: metal detecting, illicit trafficking of cultural objects, and ‘legal nihilism’ in Belarus, Poland, Russia, and Ukraine.

There is an open-access postprint copy, as well as the paywalled official publication. You can also contact me.

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16/12/2014

Heritage crime and threats to cultural heritage in the Cyprus Conflict

Thanks to the editors of Heritage Crime, Louise Grove and Suzie Thomas, I’ve also had the opportunity to write something new on Threats to Cultural Heritage in the Cyprus Conflict.

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16/06/2014

Does for-order looting exist? Examining the evidence and testing a hypothesis.

Is looting-to-order/theft-to-order a myth? If (sometimes) people do loot directly for a collector, cultural heritage workers, law enforcement agents and concerned citizens need to look out for it, spot it and (re)act accordingly.

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18/04/2014

‘No newspaper published this’: organised antiquities crime in Cyprus

Solicitor Christiana O’Connell-Schizas has reported on an Antiquities Bust in Aphrodite’s City (Pafos in Cyprus).

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22/10/2013

‘Big business is big politics’: oil bunkering in Nigeria

In Nigeria, oil is siphoned off from every conceivable store and conduit, then most of it is loaded onto barges, carried to sea tankers, and transported to Western markets; most of the income is laundered through Western banks, businesses and investments. Many of the thieves use specialised, heavy equipment and ‘steal tens of thousands of barrels of crude oil’ at a time. Sometimes, it happens within earshot and eyeline of the Nigerian armed forces but, still, ‘no one knows – or will say – what really happened’…

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01/10/2013

Did Golden Dawn leaders collect, trade or traffic illicit antiquities?

Neo-Nazi Golden Dawn’s Führer-principled organisation did not only function to commit mass murder and assassinations. It also served to conduct (and funded itself through) ‘extortion of migrant street salesmen and shop owners… smuggling… money laundering’ and a host of far grimmer crimes.

One of its MPs has been caught in possession of suspected illicit antiquities. It may have been a private collection but, in light of the mafia/militia’s apparent engagement in other trafficking and illicit trading, it may be evidence that the illicit antiquities trade was one of the means of funding its paramilitary activity.

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01/10/2013

Greece: anti-mafia law is used to suppress civil resistance to destruction of the historic and natural environment

A while ago, I reviewed a ‘corrupt deal’ over the Skouries gold mine in Greece, which was ‘financially as well as socially, economically, environmentally and culturally bad for both the community and the country’, and the consequent community resistance and police repression. Now, exploiting the public distraction of the anti-mafia crackdown on neo-Nazis, the state is using the same anti-mafia legislation to crack down on (historic and natural) environmentalists…

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21/09/2013

Greece: the massive organised illicit antiquities gang has been imprisoned

Regarding last year’s arrest of 45 suspected members of an illicit antiquities dealing gang, the 67-year-old mastermind has been convicted of ‘leading a large and active criminal racket’ devoted to the illicit excavation and sale of antiquities; he has been fined €50,000 and imprisoned for 22 years. 43 other members have been imprisoned for between two and nine years. A further nine have been acquitted.

(The original reports counted 25, 35, 36, 44, then 45 arrests; but 53 were brought to trial, so perhaps they comprised 44 immediate arrests and nine follow-up prosecutions of peripheral associates.)

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