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On May 25, 2018, Shaaban Abdel Gawad, who heads up Egypt's antiquities repatriation department within the Ministry of Antiquities, confirmed that the Egyptian authorities had deemed the artefacts to be authentic but the objects did not appear in any of the country's antiquities registries. This meant that the ancient objects in the container, dating from the Predynastic to the Ptolemaic, as well as the Islamic era, had not been stolen from any known museum collection, but were likely the unrecorded finds of clandestine excavations of archaeological sites, possibly from the area near the Nile Rover city of Minya in Upper Egypt, 250 kilometres south of Cairo. The objects were restituted to The Arab Republic of Egypt on July 30, 2018.
Widely known as INTERPOL, the International Criminal Police Organization's colour-coded "Notices" are law enforcement communication tools used to enable INTERPOL's 194 member countries to share alerts and requests for information worldwide on missing persons, criminal activity and criminals who are believed to have fled to other jurisdictions to try to evade justice. Created to enhance worldwide police cooperation, a Yellow notice is an alert to help locate missing persons. A Red notice is effectively a request by a member country to other countries asking for help in locating and making a provisional arrest pending extradition, surrender, or similar legal action on a person wanted in a criminal matter. No country, however, is obliged to act on the notice and INTERPOL itself recognizes that "each member country decides for itself what legal value to give a red notice within their borders".
According to a statement issued by the Office of the Attorney General today, Cav. Ladislav Otker Skakal, is alleged to have had direct involvement in the smuggling of the artefacts seized in Salerno in 2017, working in coordination with Medhat Michel Girgis Salib, the owner of a shipping and packaging company. Salib and other Egyptian nationals, including Raouf Boutros Ghali, were arrested and remanded into custody earlier, pending the outcome in this case. Some have been released pending trial.
Raouf Boutros Ghali, who holds passports from Italy and San Marino, is the brother of the former Egyptian Minister of Finance, Youssef Botros Ghaly whose served in that role under then-President Hosni Mubarak from 2004 to 2011. He is also the nephew of Boutros Boutros-Ghali, Secretary-General of the United Nations from January 1992 to December 1996 who died in 2016.
The Egyptian Public Prosecutor also ordered the search of the Italian defendant's residence in Cairo as well as his bank's safe deposit box. In carrying out this search warrant, other artefacts belonging to the Egyptian civilization were subsequently seized.