Stolen Fossils including Dinosaur Bones are Returned to Argentina
A very rare and special cargo was given VIP treatment including a military escort as it was unloaded at an Argentinian airport. The consignment consisted of a collection of rare fossils and other items that had been smuggled out of Argentina some years before. US Government officials were able to track down the haul and then return them to Buenos Aires.
To read more about the international investigation that led to the successful discovery of the stolen fossils: Smuggled Fossils Returned to Argentina
The consignment, which weighs approximately 4 Tonnes was flown into Argentina by a specially commissioned military transport plane. The rare and precious cargo was welcomed in Buenos Aires by senior Argentine military personnel, diplomats and the US Ambassador to Argentina.
The haul had originally been smuggled out of Argentina some years ago, it had been tracked down following an Interpol tip-off to a state mineral fair in Tucson, Arizona. The fossils were seized by US Government officials and more illegally obtained relics were found in warehousing nearby.
The smuggled items include dinosaur bones, eggs, petrified wood and invertebrate fossils, they had originally been shipped out of Argentina probably mixed up with other rocks and minerals destined for the USA.
Touchdown! The Precious Cargo of Fossils is Unloaded
Picture Credit: BBC News
The US Ambassador in Buenos Aires, Earl Anthony Wayne, had taken a personal interest in the return of the artefacts to South America and he was at the airport to see the cargo arrive.
Commenting on the growing problem of illegal fossil sales the Ambassador said:
“There are probably more out there and we’ll keep looking for it”.
He congratulated the authorities on their success but stated that the international community should keep working to improve information-sharing about the black market for palaeontological relics.
This unusual cargo has been taken to the Bernardino Rivadavia Natural History Museum in Buenos Aires. At this museum, the material will be sorted, classified and studied in more detail before being returned to the provinces in which they were found.