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Ancient Olympia Museum robbery suspects to face prosecutor

A handout photograph of the Mycenaean-era ring that was seized during the sting operation. All the artifacts salvaged by authorities will be returned to the museum for identification.

Three men believed to be behind the robbery in February of the Museum of Ancient Olympia, in which dozens of ancient artifacts relating to the ancient Olympics were stolen, are to face a prosecutor in the western port city of Patra on Tuesday.

The three Greek men are aged 36, 41 and 50, while police are also looking for another two suspects believed to be involved in the heist, during which the museum guard was tied and gagged, though unharmed.

Police arrested the 41-year-old during a sting operation on Saturday when he tried to sell a 14th century golden ring that was known to have been removed from the museum to an undercover police officer.

Authorities in Patra had learned that someone was looking to sell an ancient ring about a month ago, establishing contact with the seller and arranging a meeting with an undercover officer posing as a wealthy buyer.

The 41-year-old was arrested during the exchange, along with two accomplices who were waiting in the lobby of the hotel where the meeting took place. The suspects later gave up the location of the rest of the stolen artifacts, which they said they had buried in the village of Koskinia, just a few kilometers from the museum, right after the heist, keeping only the Mycenaean-era ring in their possession.

Authorities are still looking for a 33-year-old and a 58-year-old who are believed to be accomplices in the heist, during which between 60-70 items were removed from the museum.

ekathimerini.com , Tuesday November 27, 2012 (10:59)  
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