Police handout photo.
Two German pensioners who have lived in Greece for around 30 years are being accused of antiquities smuggling and producing unauthorized replicas of ancient artifacts.
Police conducted raids on two homes owned by the German man and woman, aged 74 and 71 years old respectively, in the area of Thesprotia in northwestern Greece, finding what they say is a plethora of evidence of illegal activities.
In the first of the raids, officers confiscated at least a dozen vessels, coins, jewelry and other objects that are thought to date to ancient times and are being examined to determine their age and provenance.
Archaeologist Stefanos Vassiliadis, who is acting as the police’s expert in the case, told the ANA-MPA news agency that the objects are almost certainly ancient and were possibly retrieved from a shipwreck off the coast of Thesprotia.
The same raid also yielded several unlicensed weapons, including a double-barreled shotgun, a Beretta pistol and an automatic rifle that was equipped with a silencer and a telescopic lens.
In the couple’s second home, meanwhile, police discovered what appeared to be a fully equipped workshop for making plaster replicas of ancient artifacts.