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zaterdag 2 juli-2011
After a long investigation cooperating police forces of Italy, Greece and Turkey (informed by Dutch art-dealer Michel van Rijn) found enough evidence to have a Lebanese art-dealer arrested in Geneva, a few days ago. Ali Aboutaam, together with his brother Hisham, owner of the Phoenix Ancient Art Gallery is accused of dealing in smuggled ancient artifacts from several Meditteranean countries, which the police confiscated during the action. Otherwise, it's not the first time mr. Aboutaam is accused of this kind of crime. In 2004 he was sentenced to 15 years imprisonment in absentia in Egypt for smuggling ancient artifacts. Nevertheless, the two brothers counted well known art-dealers and museums under their clients. And most of the time their stolen artifacts found their way to eager buyers through auction houses like Sotheby's, Christie's, Bonhams etcetera
Mr. Aboutaam is free on bail while awaiting his trial.

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