FILE - Illegal Excavations
CAIRO - 2 December 2019: Sohag Tourism and Antiquities Police arrested nine individuals over charges of illegally digging and excavating for antiquities. Evidence of archaeological Greek and Roman buildings was found under the house.
General Director of the Department of Tourism and Antiquities Police Sami Ghoneim received information from the Sohag Archaeological Police confirming the illegal excavations. The information concluded that Ismail (68 years) and Fathi (55 years) were illegally excavating and drilling under their houses in an attempt to find antiquities.
Immediately an investigative police team was formed, supervised by Major General Medhat Montaser and Brigadier General Ahmed Rifaat, inspector of the area.
The Antiquities Police in Sohag carried out the mission where the houses of the aforementioned suspects were raided.
The first suspect and his sons (Ahmed 32 and Mohammed 27) were arrested. A hole with dimensions of 160 × 180 cm and a depth of 2.5 meters was found, in addition to a subsidiary hole branching from the main one with a diameter of 1.5 meters and a depth of 4 meters ending with 2 crypts. Remains of buildings dating back to the Greek and Roman eras were found, along with the drilling tools.
The second suspect, however, was nowhere to be found. A circular hole with a depth of 5 meters and the drilling tools were found.
The used tools were confiscated by the police.