A Brooklyn man who was previously accused of attempting to take ancient artifacts from Egyptian soil was reportedly discovered a second time in possession of suitcases holding hundreds of pieces from the region.
On January 22 at John F. Kennedy International Airport, 47-year-old Ashraf Omar Eldarir, who was previously charged for suspicion of smuggling when the authorities alleged that he illegally brought ancient polychrome pieces from Egypt to the United States, was allegedly caught with 590 artifacts.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection reported that Eldarir had three suitcases of which he allegedly said contained an approximate $300 value.
When the authorities inspected the contents of Eldarir’s baggage, they allegedly discovered hundreds of artifacts covered with bubble wrap and foam packed in the worn suitcases. They additionally stated that they detected a scent reminiscent of wet dirt, leading them to believe that the items had been dug up recently.
It was reported that amulets, wooden tomb figures, and other purported “cultural treasures [which] traveled across centuries and millennia” were found among the alleged spoils in the suitcase that reportedly belonged to Eldarir.
The oldest of the pieces were reported as dating back as far as 1900 BCE.
When the authorities asked him if he could show them the paperwork proving his ownership or authorization to possess the items, Eldarir allegedly said he did not have anything to provide.
On July 6 at his indictment, Eldarir was charged with another count for suspicion of smuggling in addition to the charge from the earlier alleged incident.
If he is tried and convicted for the charges, Eldarir could spend 40-years in jail.
If you or someone you love is suspected of a theft crime, contact Orange County criminal defense lawyer Staycie R. Sena at (949) 477-8088 for a consultation now.