Ship with illegal taken artefacts seized
A Lebanese expert has been called to Limassol to examine whether confiscated artefacts seized from the "Odyssey Explorer" last week were illegally taken from a shipwreck, officials said on Dec 28, 2015. Cypriot Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides said it was not sure if the artefacts had been taken inside the exclusive economic zone of Cyprus or that of Lebanon, so an expert had been called in. The fate of the ship and its cargo depended on the outcome of investigations, including those undertaken by experts, as well as the attorney general. Cypriot authorities haave confiscated the cargo from a Bahamas-flagged ship suspected of illegal treasure-hunting and questioned the crew. Following a tip-off police, assisted by antiquities department and customs officials, boarded the vessel and seized 57 crates containing ancient artefacts. Police was trying to determine whether the ship had a permit to search for antiquities. If not, the crew could face charges of illegal treasure-hunting and illegal possession of antiquities. The antiquities found on board the ship date back to the 18th century. The items had been documented and numbered more than 600, mostly porcelain vessels which appeared to be from a sunken ship. Efforts were underway to discover their origin but it has already been determined that they are not Cypriot.