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. 

A total of 300 coordinated investigations took place, spanning 103 countries. All of which focused on the dismantlement of international networks of art and antiquities traffickers.  In total some 101 suspects were arrested.

These results were achieved during the global Operation Athena II, led by the World Customs Organization (WCO) and INTERPOL, which was carried out in synchronization with the Europe-focused Operation Pandora IV coordinated by the Spanish Civil Guard (Guardia Civil) and Europol in the framework of EMPACT(European multidisciplinary platform against criminal threats). 

Europol, INTERPOL and the WCO each played key roles in implementing 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 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 sea 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, and fossils as well as metal detectors.

0 comments: