Honor Amongst Thieves: Organized Crime and the Illicit Antiquities Trade
28 Pages Posted: 26 Jun 2011 Last revised: 24 Aug 2012
Date Written: June 25, 2011
Government agencies, non-profits, scholars, and advocacy groups alike assert that organized crime dominates the illicit antiquities trade. The illicit antiquities trade has been linked to money laundering, extortion, the drug and arms trades, terrorism and insurgency, and even slavery. This Article considers the connection between organized crime and the illicit antiquities trade, examines known criminal subcultures and evidence of their involvement in the trade, and analyzes lateral cooperation between loosely organized criminal groups. Finally, the Article poses the broader question of whether this lateral cooperation suggests that the antiquities trade as a whole operates as an organized criminal industry.
Keywords: cultural property, cultural heritage, art, organized crime, terrorism, antiquities, criminology
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