Alaa Hassanein, a former member of Egypt’s parliament, has been sentenced to jail for illegally exporting antiques out of the country. ayokinews.com reports
The former lawmaker and four others were sentenced ten years imprisonment while wealthy businessman Hassan Rateb and 17 others were given a minimum of five years, Egypt’s State News Agency,
The convicts were also penalized 1 million Egyptian pounds ($54,000) by a Cairo Criminal Court, the agency said.
The North African country has increased its efforts in recent years to combat antiquities smuggling.
After the revolt that deposed longstanding authoritarian leader Hosni Mubarak in 2011, antiquities trafficking became rampant.
Some of the people detained for smuggling the items are well-known in the country.
In 2022, an actress and the brother of the country’s former finance minister, Raouf Boutros-Ghali, were sentenced to 30 years in prison for the same offense, according to Africa News.
The convicts were said to have planned and sponsored covert excavations in order to steal the artifacts.
Since 2016, the country’s Antiquities Ministry is believed to have retrieved over 1,000 artifacts and about 22,000 antique coins.
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