Egyptian airport officials seize smuggled Ottoman-era coins

Nevine El-Aref , Friday 10 Oct 2014

Two different passengers were caught attempting to smuggle out collections of coins from the 19th and 20th century

archive photo of islamic coins

The antiquities unit at Cairo International Airport managed to prevent two attempts to smuggle two different batches of ancient coins.

A collection of 145 coins was found in the luggage of an Egyptian woman travelling to London, while the second batch of 24 coins was found in bags belonging to a Lebanese man who was travelling to Beirut.

According to Ahmed El-Rawi, head of the Antiquities Units at Egyptian Ports, the coins were found by chance during routine inspection of passengers’ luggage.

The coins, he explained, date from the Ottoman period through to the Mohamed Ali family period. Twenty-two of the coins are engraved with the name of Sultan Hussein Kamil (ruler of Egypt from 1853- 1917) with the words “the Egyptian Sultanate” on the other face.

Nineteen of the coins bear the name of King Fouad I (ruled 1922 – 1936) while 118 bear the name of his son King Farouk (ruled 1936-1952).

Three of the coins are decorated with Ottoman decoration and six with medallions.

The coins were confiscated by the police and sent to the Egyptian museum for examination and restoration, while the two suspects are facing investigation.


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