The four people in possession of the ancient coins, which reportedly have a market value of around YTL 500,000, were arrested. One of the items confiscated during the sweep was reportedly an “Aphrodite beauty mirror.”
The İstanbul Anti-Fiscal Crimes teams this week raided an antique shop run by Huseyin C., unearthing two coins dating from the Byzantine Empire era of Justinius I and Adrianus. In addition the teams also found one Aphrodite beauty mirror as well as 160 coins from the latter days of the Byzantine Empire as well as from the Roman Empire. The teams were working in conjunction with a project to prevent historical items from being sold or transported outside of Turkey.
In a statement to police, Huseyin C. said he had bought the coins from a Bulgarian woman, claiming he had been planning on turning them over to a museum in a few days. The antiques dealer was brought in for further questioning but was released on his own recognizance. A second operation on the same day by Istanbul police teams concluded in the arrest of three people in the historic section of Beyazit. The group reportedly had on their persons 200 old coins and one piece of obsidian as well as various examples of ancient jewelry and stones. In statements to the police, the three men claimed they had bought the items from sellers in the area. All of the artifacts and coins discovered by the police in the two raids are scheduled to be turned over to Istanbul museums in the coming days.