The Customs Police at the High Dam Port in the Upper Egypt city of Aswan Wednesday caught a Sudanese traveller attempting to illegally smuggle seven wooden boxes full of ancient Egyptian and Islamic artefacts out of the country.
The 50-year-old was arrested after policemen found that the boxes contained a wooden chair inlaid with ivory and pearls, clay and metal pots, as well as a number of statuettes and canopic jars. Investigations are underway to ascertain if the main was working alone or had colleagues in Egypt or abroad.
Hassan Rasmi, head of the Confiscation Department at the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA), told Ahram Online that an archaeological committee is to travel tonight to inspect the collection and check its authenticity. If deemed authentic, the artefacts would be transferred to the Egyptian Museum in Cairo for restoration.