In a significant development, Spanish authorities have seized stolen gold artefacts with an estimated value of 60 million euros ($63.6 million) that were taken from Ukraine. The thieves attempting to sell these artefacts in Madrid were apprehended, according to a statement from Spanish police on Monday.
The collection comprises 11 pieces, primarily intricate jewellery such as necklaces, bracelets, and earrings. These artefacts date back to the Greco-Scythian period, spanning from the 8th to the 4th centuries BC.
Spanish National Police revealed that these items had been previously displayed in a Kyiv museum between 2009 and 2013. However, they were illicitly taken out of Ukraine in 2016. The statement did not specify the name of the museum involved.
Moreover, the thieves had attempted to conceal the origins of the artefacts by using forged documents, falsely attributing them to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.
As a result of an ongoing investigation that commenced in 2021, Spanish authorities arrested three Spanish individuals and two Ukrainian nationals. This action followed the sale of one of the pieces, a gold belt adorned with rams’ heads, in a private transaction in Madrid.