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Dealers Charged Following Egyptian Seizures

© ICE
The US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) have announced that charges have been brought against dealers from Michigan, New York, Virginia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) ("ICE makes arrests and seizes cultural artifacts stolen from Egypt, Set of Sarcophagi more than 2,000 years old", July 14, 2011). The seizures include "a unique three-part coffin set belonging to Shesepamuntayesher from the Saite period or 26th Dynasty, approximately 664-552 B.C."

Those arrested are named:
Salem Alshdaifat, an antiquities dealer who operated a business called Holyland Numismatics in Bloomfield, Mich.; Joseph Lewis, a collector and benefactor of Egyptian antiquities; and Mousa Kouli, an antiquities dealer who operated a business called Windsor Antiquities in New York.

In addition, "Ayman Ramadan, a Jordanian antiquities dealer, who operated a company called Nafertiti [sic.] Eastern Sculptures Trading, in Dubai, UAE, is a fugitive."

Detail is provided:
As alleged in the indictment, from approximately October 2008 until approximately November 2009, the defendants, together with others, engaged in a scheme to smuggle cultural antiquities into the United States. As part of the smuggling scheme, Lewis allegedly purchased a Greco-Roman style Egyptian sarcophagus, a nesting set of three Egyptian sarcophagi, a set of Egyptian boats and Egyptian limestone figures (collectively, "Egyptian antiquities") from Khouli, who purchased those items from Alshdaifat and Ramadan. Each of these antiquities was exported from Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and smuggled into the United States. 
Khouli allegedly provided Lewis with false provenances which stated that the Egyptian antiquities were part of a collection assembled by Khouli's father in Israel in the 1960's when, in fact, both Lewis and Khouli knew that Khouli acquired the Egyptian antiquities from other dealers.


Windsor Antiquities appear to be offline at the moment. But for an earlier story from Paul Barford see here. Barford had noted the conjunction of the dealers in 2010.


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