Sunday, April 13, 2008

Spain Arrests 20 for Treasure Plunder

From The New York Times By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Published: April 12, 2008 Filed at 2:23 a.m. ET MADRID, Spain (AP) -- Twenty people accused in the plunder and sale of thousands of archaeological items have been arrested and their suspected booty -- including Roman and Stone Age pieces -- seized, police said Friday. The suspects and used metal detectors at archaeological sites throughout Spain, often selling their finds on the Internet, police said in a statement. Among the locations plundered were archaeological digs at Calpe on the eastern Mediterranean coast and Municipium Augusta Bilbilis near Calatayud in central Spain, where the Romans built a colonial city on an earlier settlement. Agents searched 24 addresses and needed three vans to carry away the suspected loot from one of the places searched, the statement said. Roman swords, 12,000 coins, stone and metal axes and more than 10,000 paleontological pieces were among the artifacts seized, police said.

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