"Three men have been jailed for life over a scam to smuggle artefacts worth more than $50m out of Egypt. Those found guilty include the former head of Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities, Abdul Karim Abu Shanab. He was accused of giving smugglers certificates showing genuine artefacts were imitations, so they could be carried through customs . . . . Four other defendants received sentences ranging from fines to 15 years in prison. They included a Swiss citizen and a German of Egyptian origin. Four of the seven, including the Swiss and German, were convicted in their absence. Another three were acquitted. Officials estimated the smuggling gang exported some 57,000 pieces worth about $55m, including human and animal mummies, coins, statues and wooden sarcophagi. . . . Egyptian law says only reproductions of antiquities can be exported, so many of the items were given certificates to show they were fake."
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