Istanbul police arrest 2 for smuggling artifacts

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Police have arrested at least two people during an operation against smugglers of historical artifacts in Istanbul, according to a police source on Monday.

Simultaneous raids were launched in two districts after police units from the Department of Anti-Smuggling and Organized Crime conducted operations to prevent the artifacts from being smuggled out of the country, the source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity due to restrictions on talking to the media, said.

Some 4,567 gold and bronze coins dating back to the Roman and Byzantine periods, six bronze plates from the Islamic period, 251 archeological objects, and four treasure-hunting tools were seized.

The artifacts will be sent to the Directorate of Istanbul Archaeology Museums; the suspects were released by a court pending trial.

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