A part of Libya’s famous archeological city of Leptis Magna, 150 kms east of Tripoli.
Italian mob is on good business relations with ISIS in Libya providing weapons to terrorists in exchange for Libyan looted artifacts that go back to the Roman and Greek eras, thanks to NATO’s disastrous continuing intervention in the country.
La Stampa has recently published a report that Libyan artifacts have been put out for sale at an auction run by two mafia groups in southern Italy, the Calabrian ‘Ndrangheta and the Neapolitan Camorra criminal gang.
The arts include a marble head, which dates back to the days of the Roman Empire and another statue, much larger and much older, dating back to ancient Greek times, as quoted by Daily Beast.
On Monday, the Italian Interior Minister Angelino Alfano confirmed La Stampa’s reporting, adding that the Italian government is acutely aware the illegal ring of art-for-arms funds jihadi terrorism in Libya.
“We have studied the ‘GDP of terror’ and we know that one of the components is the commercialization of stolen art,” he told reporters as quoted by Daily Beast. “The stolen artifacts feed ISIS and contribute to the GDP of terror,” he added.
Domenico Quirico, an undercover journalist from La Stampa posed as an art collector and was able to find out about the Italian gangs deals with ISIS. He was working with Italy’s Patrimony Police, who have been trying to break an illicit art-for-weapons ring that has been thriving in southern Italy for months.
Quirico’s exposé uncovered an elaborate ring that is apparently operating in plain view. The illicit art is brought into Italy on Chinese-flagged cargo ships coming from Sirte to the Calabria port of Gioia Tauro.
Gioia Tauro is considered to be the most dangerous port in Italy and where the ‘Ndrangheta has, for years, run the biggest drug-smuggling business in Europe.