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Egypt sentences Italian ex-consul to prison for smuggling artefacts

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An Egyptian court on Tuesday sentenced Italy’s former honorary consul to 15 years in prison in absentia on charges of smuggling artefacts out of the country.

The verdict against Ladislav Otakar Skakal, the former honorary consul in Luxor, was issued by Cairo Criminal Court.

Investigations had revealed that the consul was involved with three Egyptians in illegal excavations of artefacts in the Egyptian city of Luxor in 2017.

The artefacts were shipped by the consul to Italy in a container belonging to diplomatic staff.

Egypt has restored a collection of 195 artefacts and 21,585 coins which were smuggled by the consul after they were seized in the Italian city of Salerno.

Antiquities theft flourished in Egypt in the years after the country’s 2011 uprising, with relics stolen from museums, storage facilities and illegal excavations.

Edited by: Hadiza Mohammed/Silas Nwoha

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