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Cops put kibosh on Egyptian Antiquities Smuggler

April 20, 2012

Courtesy the US Department of Justice

According to a press release from US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), a 38-year old antiquities dealer pleaded guilty to smuggling ancient Egyptian artifacts into the US via Dubai (unfortunately the press conference set up looks like a buffet at a Motel6):

An antiquities dealer pleaded guilty Wednesday to smuggling Egyptian cultural property into the United States and making a false statement to law enforcement authorities. The guilty plea comes as a result of an investigation conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), with the assistance of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

Mousa Khouli, aka Morris Khouli, 38, was an antiquities dealer who arranged for the purchase and smuggling of a series of Egyptian antiquities between October 2008 and November 2009. This included: a Greco-Roman style Egyptian sarcophagus, a three-part nesting coffin set, a set of Egyptian funerary boats and Egyptian limestone figures.

These antiquities were exported from Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and smuggled into the United States using a variety of illegal methods intended to avoid detection and scrutiny by CBP. This included making false declarations to CBP concerning the country of origin and value of the antiquities; and providing misleading descriptions of the contents on shipping labels and customs paperwork, such as “antiques” “wood panels” and “wooden painted box.” Khouli covered up the smuggling by making false statements to law enforcement authorities.

Courtesy the US Department of Justice

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