U.S. agents recover more than 300 stolen Peruvian antiquities

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U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) special agents recovered and seized 322 pre-Columbian artifacts from Peru after a joint investigation by ICE and the Broward Sheriff's Office (BSO) of Broward County, Florida, according to a September 23 press release issued by ICE. ICE, which is an agency within the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, said that the recovered Peruvian artifacts "date as far back as 1500 B.C."

The stolen antiquities were discovered by ICE agents and BSO officers during the execution of three federal search warrants at various South Florida locations. Among the items recovered were a clay vessel estimated to be 3,500 years old, a clay statue estimated to be 1,800 years old, a burial shroud linked to ancient Peruvian royalty and gold jewelry. ICE reported that its agents arrested one individual in Miami with alleged links to the smuggling of the priceless artifacts.

"These items are just the latest cultural properties that ICE agents have seized and returned to their rightful owners in recent months," said ICE. "According to a memorandum of understanding signed in 1997, the Peruvian government will be able to claim the archeological artifacts seized by ICE and BSO officials."

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