Police arrest alleged antiquities thieves for stealing 2,000-year-old coins

The arrests were part of a joint effort staged by the Border Police and the Israel Antiquities Authority.

April 30, 2015 14:58
Israel treasure

The cave where alleged antiquities thieves dug for treasure‏.. (photo credit: BORDER POLICE)


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Israel Border Police on Thursday announced that they had arrested seven individuals for allegedly engaging in unauthorized excavations at a historical site.

The arrests were part of a joint effort staged by the Border Police and the Israel Antiquities Authority.

Before dawn on Thursday, the seven suspects, all of them men in their 30s from the Negev town of Rahat, were arrested while illegally digging in a historical site “and causing irreparable damage,” according to the police.

Authorities said that the men had stolen ancient coins from the Roman and Byzantine periods that are believed to be over 2,000 years old.

The police said that the suspects were caught in the act of digging for more artifacts in the Tel Ma’aravim site.

“The Border Policemen acted with determination and professionalism, as they do in every mission that they receive,” said the commander of the force, Ovdi Malki.

The men were found to have shovels and metal detectors.

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