Operation Mummy’s Curse: U.S. returns dozens of smuggled artifacts to Egypt


On Wednesday, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) repatriated dozens of illegally smuggled ancient artifacts to the Government of Egypt. The return of the artifacts was made possible by “Operation Mummy’s Curse,” an ongoing five-year investigation by ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations targeting an international criminal network that illegally smuggled and imported more than 7,000 cultural items from around the world.

“[I would like to express my] heartfelt gratitude of the government and people of Egypt to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and in particular to the agents from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement for the recovery and repatriation of these priceless artifacts,” said Ambassador Mohamed Tawfik. “The tireless work of these men and women may often go unseen, but it is nothing short of vital for the preservation of ancient cultures from around the world,” he added.

The artifacts, including a Greco-Roman style Egyptian sarcophagus, were formally returned at a ceremony hosted by the National Geographic Society in Washington, DC. The full story is available here.