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June 29, 2021
|Cultural Property, Art and Antiquities Investigations
In May 2017, the Ministry of Culture notified HSI Bangkok that two stolen sandstone lintels, from Khmer era sanctuaries, were exhibited at the San Francisco Asian Art Museum. A lintel is an architectural support and artistic element of a structure which is placed over a doorway or window. The artifacts were stolen from northeastern Thailand sometime during the late 1950s or early 1960s. 
May 26, 2021
|Cultural Property, Art and Antiquities Investigations
The return of the lintels to Thailand marks the culmination of a three-year probe by HSI Bangkok, HSI San Francisco, and subsequent prosecution by the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Calif., that resulted in the City of San Francisco’s forfeiture of the sacred artifacts that had been on exhibit at the city’s Asian Art Museum.
April 15, 2021
|Cultural Property, Art and Antiquities Investigations
The pieces include stone arrowheads, knife blades and tools that were illegally imported into the United States from Mexico and offered for sale. The pre-Hispanic period refers to the time before the Spanish conquests in the Western Hemisphere.
March 9, 2021
|Cultural Property, Art and Antiquities Investigations
The HSI Phoenix case began Oct. 8, 2013, when special agents were contacted by a representative of the Chandler Historical Society regarding multiple suspected pre-Columbian Chinesco-Western pottery figures with origins as far back as 100 B.C., which were in the possession of the City of Chandler Museum. HSI special agents promptly met with the museum’s director who turned over 10 Shaft Tomb artifacts for further review and investigation. Through an archeological expert analysis, the authenticity of these artifacts was confirmed as being more than 1,500 years old and originating from Mexico.
February 19, 2021
|Cultural Property, Art and Antiquities Investigations
A Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) probe and Customs and Border Protection seizure resulted in the transfer of 51 Greek Hellenistic and early Islamic coins to the University of Washington Libraries in a ceremony hosted on the UW campus, Thursday.
February 10, 2021
|Cultural Property, Art and Antiquities Investigations
The Thai lintels are two 1,500-pound hand-carved decorative relics which, according to court documents, were originally part of ancient religious temples in Thailand and are prime examples of the decorative lintel and material art traditions of Southeast Asian art.
October 30, 2020
|Cultural Property, Art and Antiquities Investigations
The repatriation Thursday highlights the unique relationship between HSI and Italy, particularly with the in investigating and repatriating cultural property. To date, HSI’s attaché office in Rome has conducted more than 60 investigations in coordination with Comando Carabinieri Tutela Patrimonio Culturale.
September 3, 2020
|Cultural Property, Art and Antiquities Investigations

HSI Dallas was able to locate the painting after receiving a tip from the HSI Attaché Office in Rome, Italy, in 2019. Based on that tip, HSI tracked the painting to a private art collector in the Dallas-area who had purchased the painting in 2015 from a dealer who was unaware that it was stolen.

July 24, 2020
|Cultural Property, Art and Antiquities Investigations

Mohamad Yassin Alcharihi, 53, was named in an indictment that charges him with one count of entry of goods into the United States falsely classified as to quality and value.

July 6, 2020
|Cultural Property, Art and Antiquities Investigations

Following an investigation by ICE’s HSI New York’s CPAA unit with assistance from U.S. CBP, Ashraf Omar Eldarir, a U.S. citizen, is being charged with smuggling Egyptian cultural property into the United States.

May 18, 2020
|Cultural Property, Art and Antiquities Investigations

Pursuant to ongoing Cultural Property, Arts & Antiquities investigations by ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) New York, a civil complaint was filed Monday to forfeit a rare cuneiform tablet bearing a portion of the epic of Gilgamesh, a Sumerian epic poem considered one the world’s oldest works of literature.

April 9, 2020
|Cultural Property, Art and Antiquities Investigations

The first item is an 11th Century sandstone Khmer statue torso of the Khleang style wearing a Khmer sampot, a traditional garment of Cambodia. The second item, dated between the early 10th to late 10th century, is a large gray sandstone Khmer statue torso of an unidentified deity.

January 22, 2020
|Cultural Property, Art and Antiquities Investigations

Following a lengthy investigation by HSI, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Delaware, and the Italian Carabinieri Command for Protection of Cultural Heritage, investigators determined that, sometime in or around 1875, the Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana in Venice, Italy acquired a copy of the Columbus Letter-Plannck I, described above. At an unknown time between 1985 and 1988, the Columbus Letter-Plannck I was stolen from the Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana.

January 15, 2020
|Cultural Property, Art and Antiquities Investigations

The stone projectile points, used primarily for hunting, were unearthed by Harrie M. Wheeler, a noted Rhode Island collector and amateur archeologist, during excavations that he conducted between 1928 and 1950 in East Greenwich, Rhode Island.

November 25, 2019
|Cultural Property, Art and Antiquities Investigations

In June 2019, HSI was contacted by the son of a former U.S. soldier who had legally purchased two Fernando Amorsolo paintings while stationed in the Philippines near the end of World War II.

October 18, 2019
|Cultural Property, Art and Antiquities Investigations

Since September 2011, HSI has been conducting an international cultural property investigation relating to several historically significant, printed letters authored by explorer Christopher Columbus during his return trip from the New World in 1493.

October 4, 2019
|Cultural Property, Art and Antiquities Investigations

ICE's HSI International Operations Division Chief Leo Lin returned a sixth century marble statue known as the “Head of a Veiled Woman,” during a repatriation ceremony at the Libyan Embassy, Thursday.

September 26, 2019
|Cultural Property, Art and Antiquities Investigations

The Gold Coffin of Nedjemankh was presented to the Egyptian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Hassan Shoukry who accepted the piece on behalf of the people of Egypt.

September 12, 2019
|Cultural Property, Art and Antiquities Investigations

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) New York, with the assistance of HSI’s attaché office in London and London’s Metropolitan Police Service, kicked off the first meeting of the Virtual Global Cultural Property Task Force (VGCPTF).

August 15, 2019
|Cultural Property, Art and Antiquities Investigations

Pursuant to an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), with participation from the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS); the High Commission of India in London in coordination with Indian Customs; and the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office in New York (DANY), the limestone carved relief and Navaneetha Krishna Bronze figure from India were repatriated to their home country.  On Aug. 15, the High Commissioner of India in London accepted the return of the artifacts on behalf of India.

May 16, 2019
|Cultural Property, Art and Antiquities Investigations

Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Deputy Special Agent in Charge Jerry Templet repatriated 10 Greek coins to the Government of Greece, Tuesday, during a reception at the San Francisco Greek Consulate.

March 4, 2019
|Cultural Property, Art and Antiquities Investigations

U.S. District Court Judge Linda R. Reade sentenced Michael Adefemi Adeyemo, aka Adekunle Olufemi Adetiloye, 47, to serve 10 years in federal prison, which is the statutory maximum for obstruction of justice under federal law. Adeyemo is a citizen of Nigeria who was living in Canada when he was extradited to the United States.

June 14, 2018
|Cultural Property, Art and Antiquities Investigations

The letter, originally written in 1493, was stolen from the Vatican Library and later sold in 2004 for approximately $875,000. This is the third Christopher Columbus’ letter repatriation in the past two years.

June 6, 2018
|Cultural Property, Art and Antiquities Investigations

The letter, originally written in 1493, was stolen from the National Library of Catalonia in Barcelona and sold for approximately $1 million.

May 2, 2018
|Cultural Property, Art and Antiquities Investigations

ICE returned 3,800 ancient artifacts, including cuneiform tablets, cylinder seals, and clay bullae, to the Republic of Iraq. The artifacts were smuggled into the United States in violation of federal law and shipped to Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc, a nationwide arts-and-crafts retailer.

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Updated: 07/26/2021