via The Telegraph, 15 August 2020: With the recent death of Latchford, his indictment by the US government will likely be dropped, and information about the antiquities that he has already sold or were in his posession will be lost. Appended to this post are Facebook posts from Cambodia scholar Miriam Stark about sculptures sold by Latchford found in museums around the world (mostly in the US).
But US prosecutors painted a much darker picture of the dealer, alleging that he was a major player in a multibillion-dollar cultural property transnational criminal network.
They depicted him as a “conduit” for Cambodian artefacts that had been illegally excavated from ancient jungle temples during political turmoil.
The Cambodian government has complained that many statues were stolen during years of civil unrest, war and the genocidal reign of the Khmer Rouge in the 1970s. A 1996 law on cultural heritage protection forbade the excavation, looting, and improper export of antiquities.
Announcing the charges against Latchford last year, US Attorney Geoffrey Berman said: “As alleged, Latchford built a career out of the smuggling and illicit sale of priceless Cambodian antiquities, often straight from archaeological sites, in the international art market.”
Prosecutors alleged that from about 2000 to 2012, he engaged in a fraudulent scheme to sell looted relics on the international market, creating false records and evidence to conceal that antiquities had been smuggled and illegally plundered.