Suspected antiquity traffickers caught

Salonika, Greece - Greek police seized a haul of ancient coins, tools and other objects and arrested four men accused of trafficking in antiquities, police in the northern port of Salonika said on Tuesday.

The four men, aged 45 to 57, were arrested in the town of Elassona on Monday after attempting to sell five silver coins from the Hellenistic era to an undercover police officer for €2 500 (about R24 000) apiece.

A fifth man is sought in connection with the case, the local police chief told a news conference.

Police found 45 ancient objects at the suspects' homes, including a stone millstone and axe, clay vessels and iron tools and nail remains.

The authorities suspect that the items were looted from ancient tombs in Thessaly, an antiquity-rich area in central Greece that has been inhabited since Prehistoric times.


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