Shop owner caught in Crete antiquities raid

Authorities said yesterday that a 60-year-old businessman arrested in Iraklion, Crete, for possessing illegal antiquities could be linked to a large international smuggling operation. The head of the Special Investigation Service, Michalis Anastassakis, said that evidence does not currently point to illegal trade in antiquities but he did not rule out the suspect being part of an international antiquities-smuggling gang. Police found in the suspect’s possession an ancient marble funeral tablet, two vases, 27 ancient coins and six icons dating from before the 19th century, among other items. Additionally, police found 159 bullets in a bank deposit box kept by the suspect. Authorities did not identify the man, who owns a retail store in Iraklion, as investigations into the issue continue.

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