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Crime & Litigation



Pearl Harbor mementos among $30K of items taken from home

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Written by Associated Press   
Monday, 30 March 2015 08:58
Japanese Nambu pistol Model 14, made in 1925, not the actual gun referenced in this article. Photo by Oleg Volk at en.wikipedia, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license. OIL CITY, Pa. (AP) - State police say some World War II mementos from the attack on Pearl Harbor were among $30,000 worth of items taken from a western Pennsylvania home.

Troopers from the Franklin barracks say the home in Cornplanter Township was burglarized sometime between Oct. 5 and March 17, when the items were discovered missing.

Police say the war souvenirs included a Japanese Nambu 8mm pistol taken from a downed fighter pilot, as well as a flight stick and altimeter from a downed Japanese plane.

Various rifles and shotguns, not related to the war, were also taken along with a drum set, keyboard and other musical equipment. Finally, police say the thieves took a coin collection, some antique fishing equipment and jewelry.

The township is about 70 miles north of Pittsburgh.

Police are publicizing the thefts in hopes of generating clues.

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Copyright 2015 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This information may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last Updated on Monday, 30 March 2015 09:10
 

Antiques dealer gets 2 1/2 years for smuggling rhino horns

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Written by Associated Press   
Friday, 27 March 2015 12:51
Black rhinoceros mother and calf in the Etosha National Park in Namibia. The species overall is classified as critically endangered, and one subspecies, the western black rhinoceros, was declared extinct in 2011. March 11, 2013 photo by Yathin S Krishnappa, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license. NEW YORK (AP) – A Canadian antiques dealer caught in a U.S. crackdown on illegal trafficking in rhinoceros horns was sentenced to two and a half years in prison Wednesday.

U.S. District Judge Laura Taylor Swain announced Xiao Ju Guan's sentence in Manhattan federal court, where she said Guan had “helped to feed a hot market for these goods.”

The 39-year-old antiques dealer, also known as Tony Guan, pleaded guilty last year to attempted smuggling after he was caught in a probe dubbed “Operation Crash.” He admitted he tried to bring two black rhinoceros horns from New York to British Columbia, where he owns an antiques business in Richmond.

Guan said he knew he was violating the law when he sought to smuggle more than $400,000 of rhino horns and sculptures made from elephant ivory and coral, falsely labeling them as “handicrafts.” The illegal trade has contributed to critical declines in elephant and rhino populations.

He was arrested in March 2014 after he flew from Vancouver, Canada, to New York City and bought two endangered black rhinoceros horns from undercover special agents with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at a storage facility in the Bronx, the government said.

Prosecutors said he was driven by the undercover agents to a nearby express mail store where he mailed the horns to an address in Point Roberts, Washington, less than a mile from the Canadian border and 17 miles from his business, Bao Antiques.

The government said a search of Guan's business turned up nine wildlife objects identified as items bought in the United States through a New York City-based Internet auction business. Prosecutors said Canadian law enforcement also recovered illegal narcotics, including about 50,000 ecstasy pills, during the search.

Copyright 2015 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

AP-WF-03-25-15 2150GMT

 

 

 

Last Updated on Friday, 27 March 2015 13:00
 

Tunisia arrests 23 in 'terror cell' over museum attack

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Written by KAOUTHER LARBI for AFP   
Thursday, 26 March 2015 11:59
Carthage Room, Bardo Museum in Tunis, Tunisia. Photo taken in 2005 by Bernard Gagnon, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported, 2.5 Generic, 2.0 Generic and 1.0 Generic license. TUNIS, Tunisia (AFP) - Tunisia said Thursday that it has arrested 23 suspects in connection with last week's jihadist massacre at the country's national museum.

"Twenty-three suspects including a woman have been arrested as part of a terrorist cell" involved in the attack, Interior Minister Najem Gharsalli told journalists.

Those arrested were all Tunisians, and they accounted for "80 percent of this cell," he said.

Another Tunisian, two Moroccans and an Algerian suspected of being members of the cell were on the run.

The Tunisian fugitive, Maher Ben Mouldi Kaidi, is alleged to have provided the automatic weapons to the two gunmen who killed 21 people -- including 20 foreign tourists -- at the Bardo museum in Tunis on March 18.

The head of the cell was among those arrested and identified as Mohamed Emine Guebli.

But the minister said the operation was organized by an Algerian jihadist named Lokmane Abou Sakhr, one of the leaders of the Al-Qaeda-linked Okba Ibn Nafaa Brigade, the main Tunisian armed group active along the border with Algeria.

Officials called into question the claim of responsibility for the attack from Al-Qaeda's jihadist rival, the Islamic State group.

"Islamic State praised this attack for propaganda and publicity. But on the ground it was Okba Ibn Nafaa which belongs to Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb that organized and committed this crime," interior ministry spokesman Mohamed Ali Aroui told AFP.

AQIM has not responded since IS claimed responsibility for the attack, which would be its first in Tunisia.

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Last Updated on Thursday, 26 March 2015 12:14
 

Looted El Greco portrait returned to heirs of rightful owner

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Written by Associated Press   
Wednesday, 25 March 2015 08:31
El Greco's 'Portrait of a Gentleman.' Image courtesy of the Commission for Looted Art in Europe

LONDON (AP) – An El Greco painting looted by the Nazis has been returned to the heirs of its rightful owner.

The Commission for Looted Art in Europe and Art Recovery International said Tuesday the Portrait of a Gentleman has been given back to the heirs of collector Julius Priester.

Priester was a prominent industrialist who fled Vienna in March 1938 when Nazi Germany annexed Austria.

The painting was seized by the Gestapo in 1944.

Priester tried unsuccessfully to locate the painting after the war, and the search by his family and heirs continued after his death.

Investigators said the painting was put up for sale in New York last year, prompting a successful claim by the Commission for Looted Art in Europe.

Copyright 2015 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

AP-WF-03-24-15 1212GMT



ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE
El Greco's 'Portrait of a Gentleman.' Image courtesy of the Commission for Looted Art in Europe
Last Updated on Wednesday, 25 March 2015 08:39
 

2 accused of rustling cowboy bronze nabbed at the border

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Written by Associated Press   
Wednesday, 25 March 2015 08:16
'Bronco Buster' by Frederic Remington. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons. SEATTLE (AP) – Police say two men accused of rustling a 55-pound bronze sculpture of a cowboy out of a Seattle antique store and then making a run for the border were foiled by Canadian officials as they crossed the line near Blaine, Washington.

Seattle police say the storeowner arrived at work Sunday and noticed the pair loading the 2-foot-tall sculpture called Bronco Buster into their pickup. He praised the men for their taste, then walked inside and commended a clerk for selling the $2,500 statue. The only problem: the clerk hadn't sold any statues that morning.

The shop owner ran outside in time to see the getaway and jotted down the British Columbia license plate number. He gave that to police, who located surveillance photos of the suspects and statue and relayed that information to authorities at the Canadian border.

Now Seattle officers are working with Royal Canadian Mounted Police on the case.

Copyright 2015 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

AP-WF-03-24-15 1257GMT



ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE
'Bronco Buster' by Frederic Remington. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 25 March 2015 08:28
 
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