Frenchman held for smuggling Inca mummy

December 20th, 2008 - 12:13 pm ICT by IANS  

Lima, Dec 20 (IANS) Peruvian police have arrested a French national from Lima’s Jorge Chavez International Airport while trying to smuggle out an Inca mummy in his luggage, EFE news agency reported.Two handguns were also found from the belongings of Alain Yban Eyraud, 60, who was arrested last week, the police said.

A case was filed against him Thursday for illegal possession of arms and crimes against the nation’s cultural heritage.

Inca mummies belong to the people of Inca empire that existed between 1438-1532 in western South America. Thousands of mummies were found during archaeological explorations in 1999 and 2000 near Tupac Amaru in Peru, which was named after the last ruler of the Inca empire.

Peru has declared them national treasures and stealing or destroying them is considered a crime.

Eyraud, a jeweller by profession, told police that he bought the mummy for some $10,000 from locals in Lima who assured him he would have no trouble taking it out of the country.

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