Environment | Law

Art 'dealers' laugh when asked to help FBI with theft of artifacts

Traders of Indian art and Indian artifacts laughed when an FBI agent asked for their help in identifying wrongdoers.

The Antique Tribal Art Dealers Association hosted a panel in Santa Fe, New Mexico, with three FBI representatives. One agent was involved in a controversial case in which more than two dozen people were arrested for stealing and selling Indian artifacts.

"The point that's been made to me many times and often by people in this room, [is] that 'You guys went after the wrong people. You didn't get the right guy,' " special agent David Kice told the crowd, The Santa Fe New Mexican reported. "Well, nobody's telling me who the right guys are. ... The people in this room know who the major players are trading illicit artifacts."

The dealers say there isn't a major problem with illicit artifacts.

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