Officers of the Guardia Civil in Spain seized over 3000 ancient coins and 20000 artefacts in an operation aimed against illegal looting and trade of antiquities.
According to the statement the Guardia Civil dismantled a criminal organization dedicated to the plundering and sale through the Internet, of thousands of artefacts of archaeological and palaeontological origin. Among the 20000 artefacts that have been seized are pieces of mosaics, ceramics and beads. Officers arrested Spaniards, resident in Calasparra, Malaga, Córdoba and Segovi. The operation, which remains open, began when the Guardia Civil detected the sale of coins and other metallic objects of archaeological origin through the Internet. Information has been collected on more than 2000 transactions of sale of coins and antiquities. Among the most significant coins are a Visigoth trident and Islamic gold coins valued at about 1000 Euros. In a building in Abarán, the agents have seized most of the pieces, about 20000 objects, including clay looms and lead weights of Iberian origin, lead sling projectiles, Visigothic and Medieval buckles, polished axes, fragments of mosaics, hand mills, rings, pendants and other ancient beads, as well as a large number of ceramics from different cultures with a chronological frame that would span from the end of Prehistory to the Islamic era. Most of the objects seized come from deposits in the North-western region of Murcia and, to a lesser extent, from the provinces of Jaén and Albacete. These include large fragments of amphorae of Roman origin, such as the Dressel 20 type, used by the Romans during the first and second centuries AD to transport the olive oil manufactured in the south of the Iberian Peninsula.
(after El País, D&M Magazine España & Guardia Civil Interior)