Police arrested the director of FYROM’s Cultural Heritage Protection Office Pasko Kuzman on Monday for illegally giving archeological permits and smuggling archaeological artefacts.

Several archaeologists, employees of the culture ministry and illegal excavators have already been charged with involvement in the case.

More than 20 persons have been arrested recently in FYROM for looting. Several articles have also been published in the local press about extensive illegal excavations, mainly in the southern part of FYROM, and about organized antiques trafficking gangs. According to these reports, the finds of illegal excavations were smuggled abroad and sold by looters.

Pasko Kuzman is one of the most famous archaeologists in FYROM. Kuzman’s name was linked to the grand government-funded revamp of FYROM’s capital dubbed “Skopje 2014,” which includes the erection of huge statues in Skopje, like the one of Alexander the Great.