Greek Olympia robbery suspects nabbed

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IOL may5  handcuffs . File photo.

Greek police said Saturday three people had been arrested in connection with an armed robbery at a museum in Olympia in February in which dozens of archaeological artefacts were stolen.

“Three people were arrested after trying to sell one of the items stolen in the robbery,” a police spokeswoman told AFP.

The police would not release additional information at this time as the investigation was ongoing, she added.

The arrests mark the first major break in the case since the robbery occurred.

Private Skai Radio reported that the suspects are Greek.

A pair of armed robbers in February made off with nearly 80 artefacts from a museum dedicated to the ancient Olympic Games, including items dating back over 3,000 years.

These included a 3,300-year-old gold ring, a bronze statuette of a victorious athlete, a 2,400-year-old oil jar, clay lamps, bronze tripods and miniature chariot wheels, as well as dozens of idols of charioteers, horses and bulls.

Greece, rich in archaeological heritage, has been targeted by antiquity smugglers for decades.

But the financial crisis rocking the country has now brought hundreds of staff layoffs among archaeologists and guards, leaving museums vulnerable to theft. -Sapa-AFP


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