Posts tagged ‘organised crime’

December 16, 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.

June 16, 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.

April 18, 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).

October 22, 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’…

October 1, 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.

October 1, 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…

September 21, 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.)

February 17, 2013

@samarkeolog Twitter archive: organised crime

Partly to help me (publicly) archive material from before my @conflictantiq Twitter feed on looting and destruction of cultural and community property, partly to help me clarify (for myself) what I want to document on it, I’ve copied-and-pasted(-and-hyperlinked) the (immediately or otherwise) relevant material from my @samarkeolog Twitter feed (primarily on professional, Balkan and Mediterranean matters).

It was a huge time sink; but I am utterly dedicated to uneconomic(al) activity.

@samarkeolog tweets on organised crime are here.

December 12, 2012

destruction, theft and rescue of cultural property during intercommunal conflict in Cyprus (postprint)

Greek Cypriot officials have estimated that, since 1974, ‘several dozen’ wall paintings and mosaics, ‘15,000-20,000 icons’ (Georgiou-Hadjitofi 2000: 225) and possibly ‘more than 60,000 ancient artefacts’ (Hadjisavvas 2001: 136) have been stolen from northern Cyprus. The structures of the illicit antiquities trade were created before the 1974 coup and invasion. This paper looks at how the destruction of cultural heritage and the illicit antiquities trade developed together between 1963 and 1974. It concludes by showing how Turkish nationalist criminal networks consolidated the illicit antiquities trade after 1974 – and how Greek Cypriot archaeological policy contributed to those networks’ trade.

[PDF]

Hardy, S A. 2015: “Destruction, theft and rescue of archaeological artefacts in Cyprus, 1963-1974: From the intercommunal conflict until the foreign invasions”. In Jacobs, A and Cosyns, P (Eds.). Cypriot material culture studies, from picrolite carving to proskynitaria analysis: Proceedings of the 8th Annual Postgraduate Cypriot Archaeology Conference held in honour of the memory of Paul Åström at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (Belgium), 27th-29th November 2008, 329-345. Brussels: VUBPRESS. [pdf]

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