Recapping New York v. Nancy Wiener – The Antiquities Coalition Blog

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via The Antiquities Coalition Blog: The first of a four-part story on the case of a New York art dealer’s arrest and her part in the looted antiquities trade.

This is the first of a four-part series that will recap the ongoing case of Nancy Wiener’s arrest for antiquities trafficking in the run-up to Asia Week 2018, held March 15-24 in New York.

Source: Recapping New York v. Nancy Wiener – The Antiquities Coalition Blog

US antiquities dealers jailed for tax fraud involving Southeast Asian loot

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This story is related to the repatriation of Ban Chiang artefacts to Thailand early this year. The antiquities dealer who was involved in the sale of the artefacts was sentenced to prison for an elaborate tax fraud scheme. Part of the sentencing agreement is the return of artefacts to their country of origin, including Thailand and Cambodia.

Calling Indiana Jones: Looted artifacts, tax scheme send ex-antiquities dealer to prison
My News LA, 14 December 2015

Operation Antiquity: Prison for Antiquities Dealer Behind Looting and Tax Fraud Scheme
Chasing Aphrodite, 15 December 2015

An ex-antiquities dealer who ran a complex Los Angeles-based tax fraud scheme involving looted artifacts was sentenced Monday to a year and a half in federal prison for making false declarations in customs documents in order to bring stolen archeological resources into the United States.

Jonathan Markell, 70, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Dean Pregerson to 18 months behind bars followed by a year of supervised release.

An undercover federal agent and an expert in Southeast Asian antiquities both testified about the extent of the smuggling scheme, which, according to prosecutors, duped Bowers Museum in Santa Ana and other institutions.

Also Monday, Markell and his 68-year-old wife, Cari — who operated the now-defunct Silk Roads Gallery in the 100 block of North La Brea Avenue in Los Angeles for 10 years — were sentenced to probation for operating a related tax evasion scheme in which the couple “packaged” and sold smuggled artifacts to give clients tax write-offs when the items were donated to local museums.

A $1,500 “package” typically included antiquities from Ban Chiang, Thailand, along with false sales invoices to reflect an earlier sales date, and a fraudulently inflated $5,000 appraisal that contained a bogus expert’s signature, according to Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph Johns.

Full stories here and here.

Cambodian military official caught smuggling statues out of the country

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Statues confiscated at the Thai-Cambodian border. Source: Phnom Penh Post 20150427

A Cambodian official was caught smuggling three statues out of the country when he was checked by the customs officials at the Thai border.

Statues confiscated at the Thai-Cambodian border. Source: Phnom Penh Post 20150427

Statues confiscated at the Thai-Cambodian border. Source: Phnom Penh Post 20150427

Statues seized at border
Phnom Penh Post, 27 April 2015

Army Officer Smuggling Statues Into Thailand Caught at Border
Cambodia Daily, 27 April 2015

A military official was arrested in Thailand on Saturday after smuggling three statues across the border from Banteay Meanchey province in his car, officials said Sunday.

Prak Sa, chief of the Boeung Trakuon border checkpoint in Banteay Meanchey’s O’Chrou district, said that Soeun Oeun, 49—an intelligence officer from the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces’ Region 5 in Battambang province—was arrested at about 5 p.m., just after passing through screening on the Cambodian side of the checkpoint.

“We were careless with checking his car, in which he had hidden three ancient statues, but he was arrested by Thai border police,” Mr. Sa said. He said Mr. Oeun regularly went through the checkpoint in O’Beichoan commune to purchase food or gasoline in Thailand.

“The suspect goes back and forth every day,” he said, adding that Cambodian border police had never had reason to suspect nefarious activity.

Full story here.

Public lecture: Preserving Heritage through Building Partnerships

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For readers in Bangkok, Dr Joyce White will be giving a talk at Thammasat University at the end of the month.

Thammasat talk

Preserving Heritage through Building Partnerships
Date: 30 January 2015
Venue: Multipurpose Hall 3, 5th Floor, Room 513. Thammasat University, Bangkok
Time: 1 – 4pm
Register via this link: http://goo.gl/forms/pEsvv4tG0j

Charges filed against Bayon vandal

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Cambodia has begun to file charges against Willemijn Vermaat, the Dutch-born New Zealand resident who admitted to destroying a Buddha statue in the Bayon. Amazingly, her response has been “I’m not worried. I didn’t do anything wrong.

Repairing the vandalised statue at the Bayon. Source: Phnom Penh Post 20141023

Repairing the vandalised statue at the Bayon. Source: Phnom Penh Post 20141023

Charges over broken statue
Phnom Penh Post, 22 October 2014

Court Complaint Lodged Against NZ Tourist
Cambodia Daily, 22 October 2014

Cambodia moves to prosecute Wellington woman over broken Buddha statue
One News, 23 October 2014
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