In Sevastopol, probe launched into activities of “black diggers” on cultural heritage site

The Sevastopol Directorate of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation has launched an investigation into illegal field work and seizure of archaeological items without approval documents committed by a previously conspired group of persons on a cultural heritage site (Paragraph C of Part 3 of Article 243.2 of the Criminal Code of Russia).

According to the investigation, two already identified local citizens searched for archaeological items near Verkhnesadovy rural settlement without having a permit. Following the illegal digging, the so-called “black diggers” obtained and appropriated a vessel - red-glazed oenochoe. According to specialists of the state historical and archaeological preservation museum Tauric Chersonesus, the jar is a valuable archaeological item aged at least 1,800-1,900 years.

 The crime was registered by officers of the Crimea and Sevastopol Regional Directorate of the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs.

Since the item is historically valuable and requires special storage conditions, after seizure it was handed over to the collection of the historical and archaeological preservation museum Tauric Chersonesus. Officers of the Sevastopol Directorate of the Investigative Committee carried out further investigative activities with the exhibit in the museum vault in the presence of museum specialists.

At the moment, law enforcement agencies possess probe materials into another group of persons that had also retrieved archaeological items from the same territory.

The investigation will determine all circumstances of the committed offence. The required forensic examinations have been arranged. Investigators will give a respective legal assessment to the actions of the perpetrators.