12:04 10 September 2013
Following the theft of Chinese artefacts and rhinoceros horn in 2012 and after six burglaries on museum and action houses over four-month period, police officers have conducted raids that led to the arrest of 19 suspects.
Thieves have stolen artefacts from Durham University’s Oriental Museum, Gorringes Auction House in East Sussex, Norwich Castle Museum, Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge in April last year.
There were five men and two women who were arrested in London. Their ages range from 20-54. In Cottenham, four men were taken into custody after police broke down the door of a mobile home at Smithy Fen traveller’s site. Meanwhile, three arrests were made in Northern Ireland.
Chief Constable Mick Creedon, Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) lead for serious organised crime, said: "The series of burglaries last year had a profound effect on museums and similar institutions and we are committed to bringing all those who were involved in the conspiracy to justice.
"Many of the stolen Chinese artefacts are still outstanding and a substantial reward remains on offer for information which leads to the safe return of those priceless items."
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