January 19, 2022

3 Arrested in France For Looting the Archival Collections of Libraries Throughout Europe

From Europol:

With the support of Europol, the French National Police (OCBC – National Unit in charge of Cultural goods trafficking) and the Spanish Guardia Civil (UCO) have dismantled an organised crime group suspected of stealing maps in the archival collections of libraries throughout Europe.

On 20 May, 6 properties were searched simultaneously in France and Spain and 3 suspects arrested. 3 vehicles and €6 000 in cash have also been seized.

The modus operandi was well defined: one of the member of the organised crime group would enter a library pretending to be a researcher interested in consulting the archives. The individual would then distract the attention of the librarian, making the most of this opportunity to cut sheet out of XVIth century books, mainly old maps. These maps were then sold for several tens of thousands of euros on the criminal market for cultural goods.

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.