FOR ALLEGED THEFT
Copyright 2002 Agencia EFE S.A
[ June 4th 2002 ]
National Culture Institute officials were dismissed
for their alleged involvement in the theft of
four Pre-Columbian gold pieces, officials said.
INAC Director Rafael Ruiloba told EFE that the
pieces were stolen two months ago from a safe
inside the agency's treasury.
items were part of 12 pieces that authorities
had previously confiscated from "huaqueros," or
tomb raiders. The dismissals for "negligence"
and "lack of trust" came as a result of an internal
investigation opened as soon as it was discovered
that the pieces were missing, Ruiloba said. Each
piece could fetch as much as $10,000 on the black
market, Ruiloba said.
officials are also being investigated in connection
with the theft. INAC reported the incident to
judicial authorities for further investigation.
"We expect those involved in this incident to
go to prison to show that our cultural heritage
must be respected and also to set a precedent,"