The Iraqi Interior Ministry, said that, the security forces thwarted the smuggling of an ancient antiquity and cultural manuscripts, valued 13 million U.S. dollars, and arrested the suspected smugglers.

Acting on intelligence reports, the security forces raided a house in the city of Kirkuk, some 250 km north of the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, and arrested two suspects, with ancient manuscripts and an ancient statue of a head, according to a statement by the Interior Ministry’s General Inspector’s office, in Kirkuk.

The office estimated the manuscripts’ value at about eight million dollars, whereas the statue is about five million dollars, the statement said.

The two suspects confessed, in the interrogation, that they are making their living from smuggling antiquities and that they were about to deliver the antiquities to someone on the border with Turkey, it added.

Up to 15,000 artefacts of Iraqi treasure-trove from the Stone Age through the Babylonian, Assyrian and Islamic periods were stolen or destroyed by looters across Iraq, including the National Museum in Baghdad, after the fall of Saddam Hussein’s regime, which was toppled by U.S.-led troops in 2003.

Again, after the extremist Daesh militants took control of large territories in northern and western Iraq in 2014, the museum of Mosul, as well as, the ruin sites of the ancient cities of Hatra and Nimrod were destroyed, and large number of antiquities were smuggled.

Source: NAM News Network