Italian, Ukrainian criminals swap weapons for ISIS’ stolen art

This video says about itself:

ISIS bought anti-aircraft missiles in Ukraine via Kuwait terrorist cell

21 November 2015

Kuwait has uncovered an international cell that supplied Islamic State [ISIS] with weapons bought in Ukraine, as well as funds and new recruits. The cell was involved in making arms deals on behalf of Islamic State [ISIS] leaders in Syria. Details revealed that the weapons were first shipped from Ukraine to Turkey, before being smuggled into Syria, the Kuwait news agency KUNA cited the statement as saying.

Translated from Jarl van der Ploeg, 18 October 2016, 18:30, in Dutch daily De Volkskrant:

Mafia and ISIS swap weapons for archaeological treasures

Kalashnikovs and RPG rocket launchers from Ukraine and Moldova in exchange for archaeological treasures looted from Iraq, Syria and Libya. The Italian newspaper La Stampa writes on the basis of its own research that the illegal trade between the Calabrian mafia ‘Ndrangheta and the terrorist group Islamic State [ISIS] is rampant.

Undercover journalist Domenico Quirico posed as a really wealthy art collector from Turin looking for new artifacts. In a former slaughterhouse of an otherwise empty salami factory a ‘Ndrangheta affiliated art dealer offered him a marble statue of Emperor Augustus. The ancient statue will cost 66 thousand euros and comes from the ancient city of Leptis Magna in Libya.

I myself have seen the beauty of Leptis Magna in 2006, along with Libyan and foreign visitors; and reading this now, I cry. If NATO would not have started its ‘humanitarian’ war on Libya in 2011, then the murdering and stealing thugs of ISIS would never have been in Libya and other countries, as the Tunisian government remarked correctly. They would never have been able to do these dirty deals with Italian, Ukrainian or other criminals.

For another, larger statue of a Greek cyclops the trader asked really a million, but Quirico could have it for a friendly price of 880 thousand euros.

The ‘Ndrangheta is said to ship sculptures stolen by ISIS from Libya to the Calabrian port of Gioia Taura in exchange for Kalashnikovs and rocket launchers. The artifacts are then sold by them on the black market to private collectors …

So the smuggler told Quirico he had to decide quickly because of strong interest from the United Arab Emirates. He also said “a famous American actor” had sent a liaison to Calabria to buy an archaeological treasure for 50 thousand dollars.

Trafficking in drugs and weapons

With annual sales of 55 billion euros the ‘Ndrangheta is considered one of the most powerful criminal organizations in Europe. They deal mainly in drugs and arms, but also earn much money by smuggling and dumping chemical waste, according to the responsible chief public prosecutor in a comment on the article. He said that he is aware of the links between the mafia and jihadist terrorist movements such as ISIS, and therefore takes the La Stampa article seriously.

The Italian Interior Minister said that the illegal art trade is a major source of income for terrorist organizations. Late last month, for example, two Van Gogh paintings stolen from Amsterdam were found in a safe of a Neapolitan mafia boss.

Earlier this year, [Russia’s] UN Ambassador Vitaly Churkin estimated that ISIS made 150 to 200 million dollars per year with the illegal sale of tens of thousands of artifacts from Libya, Syria and Iraq.

See also here.

Dutch corporations accused of financing al-Qaeda terrorism: here.

3 thoughts on “Italian, Ukrainian criminals swap weapons for ISIS’ stolen art

  1. Pingback: Assyrians in Syria, archaeological research | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  2. Pingback: Ukrainian president Poroshenko’s electoral warmongering | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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