A 64-year-old man was arrested in the northern Greek city of Drama on Thursday after police found in his possession priceless antiquities, including 5,533 ancient coins and jewellery.
A raid at the suspect’s house and office found coins dating from the Iron Age, to the Byzantine and Ottoman periods, along with 69 objects ranging from rings, bracelets, arrowheads, human figurines as well as a vase of the Hellenistic period.
Authorities also found in his possession maps of specific sites, as well as lists of coins with corresponding prices.
During the preliminary police inquiry, the suspect, who works as an accountant, told officers he was an “antiquities collector” and claimed he had purchased the objects legally, according to state-run news agency ANA-MPA.
The man, who is facing charges of violating laws on the protection of antiquities and cultural heritage, will be led before a prosecutor in Drama later in the day.
The recovered antiquities will be sent to the city’s Ephorate of Antiquities for safekeeping and assessment.