US dealer who helped smuggle Pakistani artefacts gets two-year probation

Close-up. Arrested man handcuffed hands at the back

A Florida-based fossils and artefacts dealer, who confessed helping smuggle of relics from Pakistani grave sites and selling some of them for profit, has been sentenced to two years of probation, authorities confirmed.

John Bryan McNamara, 51, pleaded guilty late last year, before the United States District Court in Alexandria, to have been involved in smuggling antiquities from Pakistan into United States.

McNamara, who lived in the Orlando area, claimed that he worked with people from Pakistan to import the goods, and that it was done in such a way that it did not draw attention of the US customs officials.

Earlier in December 2015, the Pakistan Customs claimed that the antiques seized at the Karachi airport belonged to the ‘pre-historic era’ and were worth millions of dollars.

Acting on intelligence information, customs staff intercepted four passengers at the departure lounge of the Jinnah International Airport on December 17 after their baggage, comprising 11 packages, was scanned by the Airport Security Force. A close examination of their baggage yielded artefacts, including jewellery, statues and stone leaves, etc.