Finland intercepts smuggling of Daesh-looted Syrian artworks to Russia

GMT 18:38 2015 Saturday ,06 June

Arab Today, arab today Finland intercepts smuggling of Daesh-looted Syrian artworks to Russia

Syrian policeman patrols the ancient city
Helsinki - XINHUA

Finnish customs intercepted people attempting to smuggle ancient artworks looted from Syria by the Daesh to Russia, reported Finnish national broadcaster Yle on Friday.

Among the art treasures seized by Finnish customs at the southeastern border shared with Russia, the most valuable one was a decorative gold plaque, which was made in the time of the Ottoman Empire in the 1400s.

The antique was looted by Daesh from a shrine in Syria.

According to information obtained by Yle, art theft is one of Daesh's means of financing the terrorist organization's operations.

The case is an exception among recent cases of antique smuggling that were processed by Finnish customs. Most shipments intercepted by customs officers this spring were acquired from around Europe en route to Russia via Finland.

Finnish customs suspected that the smuggling was a professionally organized operation due to the fake documents, falsified value of items, and attempts to forge the list of shipments.

Finnish customs has asked the central criminal police to assist in investigating the origin of the Syrian artwork.

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