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Criminal networks trafficking antiquities: can we disrupt the market ?

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The first of a series of regional events discussing approaches to disrupting criminal networks involved in trafficking antiquities

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According to Europol, the sale of stolen art and historical objects is the third-largest illegal market in Europe. The sale of illicit goods has been highlighted as providing an important funding source for terrorist organisations, and providing money laundering opportunities for organised crime.

As part of their role in providing technical assistance for anti-money laundering (AML) and countering the financing of terrorism (CFT), the EU AML/CFT Global Facility is taking forward a range of focused activities in the area of ‘Blood Antiquities, Conflict Looting, and Art crime’. These activities are aimed at improving situational awareness of the AML/CFT risks involved, supporting financial investigation capability and encouraging the development of an intelligence led approach to tackling money laundering and terrorist financing by those involved in illicit trafficking networks.

On Tuesday 27th April 2021 an introductory webinar will be the first of a series of regional events where international experts and law enforcement agencies will have the opportunity to discuss approaches to disrupting criminal networks involved in trafficking antiquities by:

- Restricting the movement of illicit objects.

- Restricting the movement of illegal money.

- Improving the circulation of appropriate information.

Key speakers:

  • Professor Donna Yates - Associate Professor,Department of Criminal Law and Criminology, Maastricht University.
  • Ms Karen Baxter - Managing Director:UK Finance.
  • L/Colonel Luigi Spadari, Comando Carabinieri Tutela Patrimonio Culturale

Professor Donna Yates - Department of Criminal Law and Criminology, Maastricht University.

Professor Yates completed her PhD in Archaeology at the University of Cambridge and has held a number of grants and awards related to researching the global trade in illicit antiquities. She has written books, published reports and contributed numerous articles on cultural heritage.

Her research interests include illegal trafficking of cultural, collectible and rare objects and she has recently been awarded a European Research Council grant to study how objects influence criminal networks.

Ms Karen Baxter, Managing Director, UK Finance

Karen joined UK Finance in October 2020 as the Managing Director for Intelligence Strategy. Prior to this role she was a police officer for nearly 29 years starting her career in the Royal Ulster Constabulary and retiring from the City of London Police.

Her final policing role was Commander and National Coordinator for Economic Crime across UK Policing. Her responsibilities included Complex Fraud, Money Laundering, Overseas Anti-Corruption, Intellectual Property and the Economic Crime Academy. She worked across government and a range of sectors to deliver on a National UK Fraud Policing Strategy and has been central in developing broader solutions to the challenges of Economic Crime across UK Law enforcement. She deputised for the National Police Cyber lead and led on the ‘Protect strategy’ for Cyber policing across UK.

L/Colonel Luigi Spadari, Comando Carabinieri Tutela Patrimonio Culturale (TPC)

Chief of the Data Processing Unit in the Carabinieri Command for the Protection of Cultural Heritage, L/Colonel Spadari has played a key role in the management of LEONARDO: The ‘Stolen Works of Art’ database

He has served in a number of countries including Iraq, Kosovo, Croatia and Lebanon and has been involved in the return of thousands of stolen, illegally excavated and / or illegally exported works of art by the TPC. He is also a senior officer of the Italian Task Force ‘Unite4Herite’

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