Police arrest 75 in Europe-wide crackdown on cultural thefts

SEVENTY-FIVE people have been arrested and more than 3,500 artworks and cultural artefacts recovered in a Europe-wide crackdown on traffickers involving Spanish police.

Eighteen countries, led by Spain and Cyprus and including the UK, participated in Operation Pandora which took place between October and November last year.

The Guardia Civil has now revealed details of the operation which saw a total of nearly 50,000 people investigated.

The aim was to halt the illegal trade in art and culturally significant artefacts.

In Spain alone, police recovered 500 objects, 19 of them stolen in 2014 from the Archaeological Museum in Murcia.

In one operation adverts on the internet were investigated and 400 historically important coins were recovered.

Operation Pandora took place with the participation of Europol, Interpol and the UN’s world heritage body, UNESCO.

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