ISTANBUL: A businessman has been held in Istanbul trying to sell a dagger to Saudi businessmen looted from the palace of former Libyan leader Muammar Qadhafi.
“He was trying to sell the dagger, which was made of ivory and garnished with gold, emeralds, diamonds, rubies and sapphires, for $10 million,” Turkish daily Habertürk reported.
The police tracked the businessman, who was a textile exporter from the southeastern province of Mardin, and started an operation after learning he was going to sell the dagger to his Saudi customers in a hotel in the Bakırköy district of Istanbul.
The businessman, who left Istanbul’s Bahçeşehir district in one of three luxury cars, was stopped by the anti-smuggling police, who were disguised as traffic police. The cars were trying to reach Bakırköy separately from three different roads and the dagger was found in the trunk of one of the cars. The businessman and two others working with him were detained in the operation.
Arrested businessman claimed he bought Gadhafi’s dagger from the opposition groups in Libya for $4.6 million.
The dagger was later sent to Turkey’s Chamber of Jewelers to prove its authenticity and the chamber concluded that the dagger was original. It was worth at least $2 million, according to the chamber.
“Qadhafi’s dagger was seized on the grounds that it was a piece incompatible with CITES and was brought to Turkey illegally,” newspaper reported.
Courtesy : TheNews