Dealers who trade looted relics with armed groups should be prosecuted for complicity in war crimes or funding terrorism, the Clooney Justice Foundation said Wednesday.

“The looting of relics is not a crime without victims,” ​​said Anya Naystat, director of legal affairs at Dockett, a Foundation project launched by actor George Clooney and his wife, human rights lawyer Amal.

“The predatory cultural artifacts are physically and socially destructive, and the sale of conflict relics allows armed groups to fund conflict, terrorism, and other crimes against civilians.” Mr. Nystat said.

“Dockett is asking law enforcement agencies in market countries to begin investigating and prosecuting ancient relic distributors if there is evidence of being involved in war crimes and terrorist financing,” she added.

Nystat announced Wednesday in Washington the results of a two-year investigation into the theft of relics in Iraq, Libya, Syria and Yemen and their sale in the United States and Europe.

Ancient trafficking was associated with Islamic State organizations and armed groups such as Al Qaeda’s former Syrian branch, Hayat Taharir al-Sham, who could purchase weapons to fund violent attacks. I can do it.

According to The Docket, IS earned “thousands of dollars, if not hundreds of millions of dollars” from the looting of ancient relics, which was the main source of funding for it.

According to Nystat, the IS, which dominated a large area of ​​Syria and Iraq between 2011 and 2016, had a small division of ancient relics with taxation and licenses.

Stolen relics often pass through Turkey, Lebanon, Eastern Europe, or Thailand before being offered for sale by dealers or individuals.

According to The Docket, the recovered goods have been returned to the country of origin, but dealers tend to just tap their wrists.

“Prosecution of serious crimes is an important factor in breaking the cycle and ensuring that the market is dismantled,” Nystat said.

The report came shortly after the former director of the Louvre Museum in Paris was charged with conspiring to conceal the origin of an archaeological treasure suspected of being smuggled from Egypt.

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