Yemen fines, expels Briton for smuggling artefacts

21st May 2014, Comments 0 comments

A Yemeni court on Wednesday fined and expelled a British man after convicting him of attempting to smuggle artefacts out of the Arabian Peninsula country, Saba news agency reported.

As well as ordering him to pay one million riyals ($4,640/ 2,749 pounds), the Sanaa court confiscated the artefacts from the man, who was unnamed and only identified as a financial manager.

The Briton had been arrested in January when the objects were found in his suitcase as he prepared to fly to Mexico on holiday.

"I thought these stones were homemade by bedouins. I wanted to take them as souvenirs, and I had no idea that they were artefacts," the defendant said when his trial opened on February 24.

Around 1,500 antiques, including coins and pre-Islamic stone carvings, have been confiscated at Sanaa airport over seven years, the Yemen Times daily reported in March 2013.

Yemen was the site of ancient civilisations, including the kingdom of Saba.

© 2014 AFP

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