May 6, 2020

INTERPOL, Europol and World Customs Organization joint investigation produce results.


Interpol has issued a preliminary announcement on Operations Athena II and Pandora IV. 

In both initiatives, 300 investigations led by customs and other law enforcement authorities from 103 countries, supported by Europol, INTERPOL and the World Customs Organization (WCO), have joined forces against the trafficking of cultural goods within the framework of #EMPACT (European multidisciplinary platform against criminal threats). 

Europo, INTERPOL and the WCO played a key role in implementing the entire operation by facilitating information exchange and by providing analytical and operational support.  

The footage coming from the Spanish Civil Guard (Guardia Civil) is pretty impressive. 


As can be seen by the Roman numerals after these target investigations, these are not the first coordinated initiatives designed to target criminal activity related to art.  For several years now, law enforcement and customs has worked together to inspect auction houses, art galleries, museums and private residences, as well as ports, airports and border crossing points in search of illicit material.

According to the EUROPOL press release more than 19,000 objects have been recovered in the course of some 300 investigations.  Seizures are reported to include ancient coins, archaeological objects, ceramics, historical weapons, paintings, fossils and metal detectors.

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