Egypt’s Prosecutor General, Nabil Sadek, ordered on Tuesday the arrest of former Italian honorary Consul in Luxor, who is accused of smuggling thousands of Egyptian artefacts inside diplomatic containers to Italy last year.
Fugitive Ladislav Otakar Skakal, and other Egyptian suspects are accused of smuggling 21,855 Egyptian antiques spanning different eras of Egyptian civilization, to Italy in 2018. The Consul’s name was added to the security watch list.
Sadek also ordered the referral of other suspects in the same case to the Criminal Court.
The antiques included pottery, thousands of ancient coins, parts of coffins, as well as artefacts of Islamic civilization.
Investigations revealed that Skakal smuggled the antiques inside diplomatic containers from Alexandria port with the assistance of other Egyptian suspects including the official of a shipping company for the sake of trafficking.
Italian authorities seized the antiques at the port of Salerno and informed Egyptian authorities.
Other antiques were also found inside the Consul’s house in Cairo and in a bank vault he was renting.
Following communications between the prosecution’s office and Italian judicial authorities, Egypt managed to restore the smuggled antiques in July 2018.