YEMEN Press Agency

Antiquities looting gangs’ activity returns to Yemen with funding of coalition

ADEN, July 30 (YPA) – Informed sources in southern Yemen have revealed the activity of a dangerous gang to loot antiquities in the southern areas under the control of the Saudi-led coalition factions loyal to the UAE and Saudi Arabia.

The sources confirmed that the gang, which includes experts and specialists in the field of excavation for antiquities and gold and is funded by the coalition, has begun its work in several areas in Aden.

The gang, which has modern excavation equipment, has begun excavations in the mountains of Al-Kheesa, all the way to a number of islands adjacent to the city of Aden, the sources added.

According to the sources, the gang hired some young men in those areas in exchange for daily wages to carry out its operations aimed at finding ancient statues made of gold and silver.

International reports have accused the war coalition of looting and destroying antiquities, foremost of which are the Aden Museum’s holdings that were found in the Louvre Museum in Abu Dhabi as Emirati antiquities.

Yemen has been subjected to organized crimes that targeted its rare historical antiquities and manuscripts through looting and smuggling by the coalition that has been waging war on Yemen since March 2015, as well as crimes of targeting and destroying archaeological sites by air strikes.

According to experts and observers of Yemen’s looted antiquities, the UAE plays a major role alongside Saudi Arabia in looting Yemeni antiquities, presenting them in poor plays as Emirati artifacts, which formed a passage for smuggling stolen Yemeni antiquities to deliver them to the Zionist enemy.

Social media witnessed last June a wide media campaign led by activists against the UAE under the hashtag #UAE_steals_Yemeni_antiquities.

The campaign, which sheds light on the looting and theft of Yemeni antiquities, shows scenes and photos documenting the UAE’s provision of Yemeni antiquities displayed in a store for sale in the UAE, and activists are calling for their return and the criminalization of all smuggling gangs in a Yemeni awakening in defense of ancient Yemeni antiquities.