A man was arrested in a Beduin village of Bir Hadaj, South Israel, for illegally looting more than 150 Byzantine-era coins from numerous nearby archaeological sites.
According to the Israel Antiquities Authority’s Robbery Prevention Unit, the officers were informed of an unidentified suspect in his 50s was walking around the ruins of the city Halutza with a metal detector. At the site officers detained the man, who was in possession of the 1500-year-old coins. The suspect was taken for interrogation and released on bail under restrictive conditions. The coins were transferred to Authority’s headquarters in Jerusalem for analysis. Israeli law forbids metal detectors and unauthorized visits to antiquities sites, and theft of relics is punishable by up to four years in prison.
(after Israel Antiquities Authority & The Jerusalem Post)