German citizen Bob Zeno, accused of possessing and selling pieces of treasure stolen from the archaeological site in the Orotei-Sarmigetosa Regia mountains, including a gold bracelet weighing approximately one kilogram, Dacian motifs, Geto-Dacian coins, Roman coins, earthenware and stone artefacts. On Thursday, the Bucharest Court of Appeal finally sentenced him to a suspended 3-year prison sentence.
According to Agerpress, in the Court of First Instance, Bob Zeno received a two-year suspended prison sentence for concealment, and the Bucharest Court of Appeal increased the sentence to three years, but it is still pending, for having committed the crime of money laundering.
The German will have to perform unpaid work for the benefit of the community for 80 days within the Bucharest Public Domain Administration – Sector 1 or within the Local Police of Sector 1.
The court upheld the judgments of the Bucharest Court (the Substantive Court) on the civil side. Thus, a German citizen must pay the Ministry of Culture a material compensation of 72,654 euros.
The insurance measure imposed by the Public Prosecutor’s Office attached to the Alba Iulia Court of Appeal, and annulled by a German court
It remains to be seen how this amount will be recovered, as the court in Romania found that the insurance measure created on Bob Zeno’s immovable property (pursuant to Order No. Alba Yulia), two plots of land of 819 sq.m. and 431 sq.
Hundreds of Roman and Dacian coins and silver bracelets confiscated
The Bucharest court also ordered the confiscation of several German assets: 473 silver coins of the Roman Republic and a Dacia, 7 silver bracelets, a necklace and 23 Geto-Dacian coins. These assets were handed over to Romania, based on the decision of the Salzburg Court in 2017.
On the other hand, the judges rejected the prosecution’s request to confiscate other assets, which are 10 antiques made of porcelain or stone, which will be returned to the German citizen. A request for the confiscation of €72,150, representing money obtained by circulating some coins, was also denied.
The judges also disapproved of the confiscation of a gold multi-helix bracelet weighing 933.4 grams in the custody of Romania’s National History Museum.
According to the Public Prosecutor’s Office, between 2005 and 2015, by concealing or disguising the true nature of the source and ownership of the goods, Pop Zeno acquired, possessed and transferred through the sale of various goods belonging to the national cultural heritage, stolen from archaeological sites in Romania.
Thus, during 2006, Bob Zeno sold to a Bulgarian a multi-ring gold bracelet (weighing 933.4 grams stolen from the Orshti Mountains Archaeological Reserve – the archaeological site of Sarmejitusa Regia, acquired in 2005), the thing that he presented to the buyer as belonging to private group.
He acquired and possessed 18 Dacian silver trinkets, 23 Geto-Dacian coins (part of at least four scattered coin treasures), a set of 473 Roman and Dacian republican silver coins, as well as 10 relics of porcelain or stone, Knowing that they come from committing crimes on the territory of Romania.
At the same time, according to some invoices dated between 2007 and 2013, Pop Zeno traded with different people or companies (from Europe and the United States) more than a thousand coins (Lysimachus, Solidi Eustinianians, Lysimachus-type Gold Staters, Republican Roman) denarii, Eastern Celtic drachma).
According to the Public Prosecutor’s Office, the mediation of the capitalization of these goods was carried out by people who took on the role of money and antiques launderers, some of whom were referred to the court, respectively, were convicted in other cases carried out by the Public Prosecution Office.
The monetary types that were identified in the previously mentioned bills have been recovered by the judicial authorities in other criminal cases as well, some of which have been final settled, others are in the process of being settled, after the expertise that was done to ensure that they come from cash hoards stolen from Romania archaeological sites.
The Office of the Prosecutor states that the multi-helix gold bracelet was returned to the Romanian judicial authorities on May 9, 2011, based on compensation awarded under the terms of the UNIDROIT agreement to a bona fide gold collector who cooperated with the judicial authorities.
The 13th Dacian gold bracelet recovered by the Roman authorities
The bracelet is currently in the custody of the National History Museum of Romania in Bucharest and belongs to the national cultural heritage, treasure category.
The piece represents the thirteenth bracelet recovered by the Roman authorities (out of a total of 15 bracelets stolen from archaeological sites between 2000 and 2001), proving that, similar to the twelve multi-helical gold bracelets previously examined, the place of origin is the archaeological site Sarmizegetusa Regia (the capital of Dacia), the archaeological point of Căprăreaţa, belongs to a royal treasure hidden in the center of the Dacian kingdom.
The other recovered objects – 473 coins and 18 daca silver ornaments – have been repatriated and are in the custody of the National History Museum of Romania.
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