Monthly Archives: May 2024

Monthly Archives: May 2024

Chile Repatriated Moroccan Fossils Seized from Smugglers by Chilean Custom Authorities

fossil artefactsA repatriation ceremony held last Monday at the National Library of Chile saw the return of 117 Moroccan fossils dated about 400 million years ago, to the Moroccan kingdom. The handover of the Moroccan-origin fossils is a clear example of the commitment between countries to combat the illicit activities called antiquities trafficking. Yet it’s also a clear indication that antiquities trafficking is still rampant because there is a high demand for them in the dark side of the global art market.

The Moroccan artefacts were seized by Chilean customs officials from smugglers. Kenza El Ghali, Morocco’s ambassador to Chile remarked that antiquities trafficking could be worse than drug trafficking. Nevertheless, the handover ceremony was officiated by Nelida Pozo Kudo, the Director of Chile’s National Heritage Service, who praised the Chilean customs for seizing the Moroccan fossils. Their action exemplified Chile’s continuing commitment to protect cultural property against criminals who violate international laws.

What Investigators Discovered about the Antiquities Trafficking Activities of Criminal Networks

Investigations into the smuggling of valuable antiquities revealed direct connections between auction houses, museums and elite art collectors and organized criminal networks. Reports have it that the European, North American and Asian markets for smuggled antiquities are open to high net-worth private collectors with reputable social standing. Many respected cultural institutions like museums are also into buying the antiquities for exhibition purposes, without risks of legal reprisal.

Some examples of compelling cases uncovered by investigators of the illicit trade of antiquities in the global art market, include:

  1. The direct link of the auction house Sotheby to the pillaging of temples in Cambodia;
  2. The Getty Museum’s link to the destruction of Italian and Greek tombs;
  3. The recent return of thousands of Iraqi artefacts revealed the direct involvement of the owners of a US craft store called Hobby Lobby;

Apparently, the criminal networks developed a system of supplying antiquities to upstanding buyers in the gray market by cleaning the taint of illicit activities. The antiquities are first laundered clean of any taint of illegal activities by putting them on display at exhibitions in respectable institutions and auction houses, as a means of obscuring any evidence of theft or crime.

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Indonesian Soccer Fans Delighted by the National Team’s Recent Achievements

Indonesia soccer playersAssociation football or soccer (축구중계) at the top of the most watched sports events in Indonesia, more so now that the country made a significant surge in the FIFA world ranking. Following the recent victories, Indonesia’s The Red and White football team garnered 30 points that boosted its FIFA world ranking by 8 spots, whilst securing 134th place in FIFA’s roster of globally recognized football teams.

The achievement was largely the result of Indonesia’s series of recent World Cup qualifying match victories over Vietnam. Conversely, the losses had caused the latter to lose 30 points, which led to a 10 spot drop in FIFA’S worldwide ranking. According to the latest FIFA report, Indonesia posted the highest level of improvement compared to all other football teams; but at the expense of Vietnam, as it suffered an equally huge decline.

The remarkable feat brought Indonesia to a comfortable second place position next to Iran. The Red and White is just 5 points behind Iran, the leader in the Group F contenders looking to qualify for the forthcoming FIFA World Cup event in 2026.

indonesian goalkeeper In having garnered a 5-point buffer between Iraq and Vietnam, losing to Iran in the June 06 qualifying match will not put them in a precarious position. The Red and White team aims to achieve enough victories that will send them to the next round of qualifying matches toward participating in the 2026 final World Cup showdown.

Latest Football Feat Raises Concerns over Indonesia’s Reliance on Naturalized Football Players

News about Indonesia’s significant football triumphs albeit resulting in favorable improvements to the country’s world ranking, has been drawing negative feedback. Apparently, the impressive performances that earned The Garuda or The Red and White Team substantial points, the major winning scores were delivered by naturalized foreign-born Indonesians and not by the country’s homegrown talents.

Those who viewed the live action via Laser TV’s streaming services, were impressed with how Netherlands born and raised Ragnar Oratmangoen and Jay Idzes both with Indonesian heritage made significant contributions that led to Merah Putih’s domination of the two matches waged against Vietnam.

Still, the majority of Indonesia’s football fans are celebrating, despite criticisms hurled against the national football team’s South Korean coach Shin Tae-Yong, for fielding as many as 10 naturalized soccer players, as it denoted lack of confidence over the local Indonesian football talents. Many contend that the active recruitment of foreign-born Indonesians by the Indonesian Football Association (PSSI) is a shortcut to training and developing the country’s young football players.

However, many point out that it was only under the South Korean coach that The Red and White exhibited a steady rise to becoming formidable achievers. Shin Tae-Yong was recruited as coach in 2020. Back then, Merah Putih players were brimming with talent, yet past performances show that local [layers have a tendency to buckle down and underperform during critical periods.

At this point, the Indonesian Football Association asserts that the recruitment of naturalized players is only temporary and used as a strategy in improving the country’s world rankings and the perennial underperforming tendencies of local players. Indonesian soccer fans took note that in the second match, emerging homegrown Indonesian football star Ramadhan Sananta played an important role in sealing the victory against Vietnam.

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