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Italian police bust gang of antiquities thieves

Police in Terno, Campania, uncovered a spectacular hoard of over 200 stolen historical artefacts worth over €0.5 million on Wednesday, inside the lair of a local gang of art thieves.

Italian police bust gang of antiquities thieves
Italian police bust gang of antiquities thieves
Most of the loot was more than 2,000 years old 
[Credit: Carabinieri Caserta]
The four-strong gang is said to have ransacked museums and private collectors across Campania over the last year, embarking on a spree of break-ins and robberies in order to get their hands on the ancient art.

The group would then sell the goods on the black market via a fence, the police said in a statement.

The gang is said to have been behind a daring raid on Termi's local archaeological museum last January, which saw tens of historically important items pilfered.

The gang's loot was made up of a wide range of objects, all dating from between 800 BC and 200 AD.

Italian police bust gang of antiquities thieves
Italian police bust gang of antiquities thieves
Graeco-Roman vases recovered by police in Terno, Campania 
[Credit: Carabinieri Caserta]
The haul includes Roman and pre-Roman jewellery, marble statues, ivory carvings, elaborate terracotta pots and decorated black ceramics.

For the time being, the works have been sequestered by the police who are working to trace their rightful owners.

The men were captured at the conclusion of an elaborate police operation which began following the break-in at Teano's archaeological Museum.

Over the last six months police used surveillance and wiretaps to lead them to the gang of four, all of whom have been placed under house arrest pending further investigation.

Source: The Local [July 23, 2016]

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