Government agencies, non-profits, scholars, and advocacy groups alike assert that organized crime dominates the illicit antiquities trade. The illicit antiquities trade has been linked to money laundering, extortion, the drug and arms trades, terrorism and insurgency, and even slavery. This Article considers the connection between organized crime and the illicit antiquities trade, examines known criminal subcultures and evidence of their involvement in the trade, and analyzes lateral cooperation between loosely organized criminal groups. Finally, the Article poses the broader question of whether this lateral cooperation suggests that the antiquities trade as a whole operates as an organized criminal industry.
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