Greek authorities catch smuggler crossing Turkish border with over 1000 ancient coins

Greek customs officers caught a Turkish citizen attempting to smuggle 1,055 ancient coins across the border from Turkey on Tuesday, the Greek Reporter news site reported.

The coins were hidden in seven water bottles concealed at the bottom of a bag containing food, it said.

The suspect told authorities he had been given the coins by “unknown people” at his home in Turkey and asked to take them to Germany for 1,400 euros, according to the news report.

Greek authorities have handed the coins over to the Ephorate of Antiquities of Alexandroupolis, an agency attached to the Ministry of Culture, which has concluded the coins are covered by the antiquities act and will begin examining and identifying them.

As the home of some of the world’s oldest civilisations, Greece and Turkey have a wealth of archaeological riches which provide a tempting target for smuggling groups.

A crackdown by Turkish security forces has saved a large number of artefacts from Turkey and Syria this year, including some items that were made thousands of years ago, Turkish news site Daily Sabah reported in June.