Customs and immigration officials have returned several ancient artifacts to the government of Pakistan nearly a year and a half after they were discovered at Port Newark
Experts determined that the artifacts, one of which dated to the second century BC, were stolen from a site in northern Pakistan. They arrived in Newark in September 2005 in two shipments in which the shipper had misrepresented the country of origin, officials said on Tuesday.
The person to whom the shipments were addressed in the US did not pick them up and has not been detained, according to Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokesman Michael Gilhooly. Customs officials are cooperating with Pakistani officials investigating the thefts.
The artifacts were shipped from the United Arab Emirates and declared as decorative items. A routine search of the containers was conducted to make sure the items matched what was on the shipping manifest, Gilhooly said.
Among the items recovered was a rare cup from the second century BC and a statue of a starving Buddha that is one of two ever found, officials said.