We have intervened more than 30,000 pieces of interest between coins, rings, fibulas, ceramics, coins to make coins and other large amount of items that were put on sale through the Internet

Source: Ministry of the Interior

The operation has been carried out jointly with the Bulgarian police in coordination with Europol and Eurojust

13 people have been arrested in both countries in a total of 17 records

The Civil Guard, within the framework of the SÁRDICA operation has dismantled a criminal organization dedicated to the pillage and falsification of archaeological material, proceeding to the arrest of 9 people in our country in the provinces of Valencia, Murcia, Segovia, Zaragoza and Alicante, of another 4 in Bulgaria, all of them as alleged perpetrators of the Criminal Organizational Belonging, Historical Heritage, Contraband, Scam, Reception and Money Laundering, Documentary Falsedad and Price Alteration of Contests and Auctions.

In the same way and as a result of the aforementioned research, more than 30,000 objects have been recovered from the pillaging of terrestrial archaeological sites, mainly in Bulgaria, as well as all kinds of authentic and forged archaeological pieces, as well as abundant material used to detect metals, others used to coin, manufacture and age objects that were later sold through platforms on the Internet, in addition to 180,000 euros in cash.

Illegal sale of archaeological objects

The operation was initiated after the request of the Bulgarian authorities to collaborate with the Civil Guard to jointly carry out the investigation into the alleged criminal organization.

The crimes were committed through the sale of objects of archaeological interest, mainly coins, through well-known Internet sales pages, for which they used profiles of users that agreed between them to raise the prices of auctions of objects for obtain greater economic benefits.

With the development of the research, it was found that although the leaders of the organization in Spain were based mainly in Valencia, they maintained structures and ramifications in the provinces of Alicante, Murcia, Segovia and Zaragoza, as well as in Bulgaria.

From the beginning, researchers created a joint working team under the umbrella of Europol and Eurojust, agencies that have played a key role in the coordination of the police forces involved, as well as for the processing that has been done from Spain aid in criminal matters, thanks to which it has been possible to proceed with the arrest of part of the criminal organization based in Bulgaria.

More than 30,000 objects intervened

Between the intervened objects they emphasize the more than 20,000 authentic and falsified currencies, in addition to 36 wedges to concoct falsifications of ancient currency, Greek and Roman ceramics, Roman statures in stone, helmets, funeral urns, fibulas, lucernas, rings, buckles, amulets, arrowheads and spears.

Metal detectors, materials and products for the manufacture and aging of many of the fake objects they manufactured, as well as a large number of pieces of interest pending cataloging, have also been intervened.

The importance of the operation lies not only in the total dismantling of the criminal organization operating in Spain and Bulgaria, but also in the recovery of the aforementioned large number of objects originating from the pillaging of land archaeological sites in Bulgaria and forgery; It has also revealed the enormous number of people affected worldwide by the purchase of this type of objects through the Internet.

The investigation has been carried out by the Historical Heritage Group of the Central Operational Unit of the Civil Guard with the support of the Judicial Police Organic Unit of the Command of Valencia under the ownership of the Court of Instruction No. 1 of Torrente ( Valencia), which has decreed imprisonment for five of the detainees.


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