Authorities seize antiquities traffickers [Archives:2005/819/Local News]

February 24 2005

Yemen Times Staff
In collaboration with the General Antiquities Authority last week, police have caught a gang of five people led by a Jordanian national who had possession of large quantities of gold, statues and other rare antiquities, allegedly with the intention of selling them abroad.

Colonel Hisham al-Ghazali, General Manager of Terrorism Combat and Crime Department at the Ministry of Interior, was quoted by the September 26 weekly, which published the case in its Thursday issue as saying “the gang, led by a Jordanian national named Sameer Jadallah, was seized after extensive efforts stepped up so far to fight antiquities trafficking, the gang included a Yemeni national from al-Jawf who was also caught on the charge of selling antiquities to foreigners.”

Al -Ghazali added that the suspect confessed that he collects antiquities and sell them to foreigners, the most prominent of whom was Sameer Humadi, a Palestinian who holds Jordanian citizenship and has been residing in Yemen for several years.

Antiquities Protection Authority Manager, Hashim al-Thawr, said to September 26 Newspaper “the seized antiquities exceeded 30 gold pieces weighing one kilogram and they are rare articles including earrings, jewels and ornaments dating back to the Abbasi and Himiari eras.”

“The seized antiquities included large quantities of the pearls, precious stones, jewels and bronze statues,” he added. “The gangster confessed during investigations that he has been, for a long time, smuggling Yemeni antiquities to a number of world countries through the UAE, Jordan and Syria, and the sale process takes place with the aid of specialized international gangs.”

It is alleged that the man has been carrying out exploration operations in some of the ancient sites with the aid of many Yemeni nationals. He has been using modern devices, some of which not even available at the General Authority for Antiquities, Museums and Scriptures.

Al-Ghazali mentioned that the five suspects are still being investigated and pointed out that some other suspects have also been caught.