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Seizures under HSI’s CPAA

Within the portfolio of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) is a program known as the Cultural Property, Art and Antiquities Program (CPAA). The CPAA Program investigates cultural pirates operating on a global scale who steal and traffic art and other forms of cultural property.

The federal agents involved in CPAA investigations belong to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). In connection with this program, HSI has trained hundreds of special agents, investigators and attorneys on cultural property and antiquity smuggling at workshops.

Since 2007, ICE has returned more than 11,000 artifacts to over 30 countries include France, Germany, Poland, Austria, Italy, Peru, China, Cambodia, Mongolia, Egypt, Republic of Korea, Iraq.

Most of the seizures involve paintings, manuscripts and ancient artifacts. Other types of items seized by HSI for CPAA have involved everything from dinosaur fossils to a mummy’s hand.

Under Federal importation laws, HSI has the authority to investigate crimes for the illicit importation and distribution of cultural property and art. U.S. Customs laws allow HSI to seize cultural property and art that are brought into the United States illegally, especially when objects have been reported lost or stolen.

Contact a civil asset forfeiture attorney at Sammis Law Firm to find how more about how special agents with Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) seize property for forfeiture.

Additional Resources

HSI’s CPPA Investigations – Visit the official website of the Department of Homeland Security to learn more about Cultural Property, Art and Antiquities (CPPA) Investigations.

This article was last updated on Friday, May 22, 2020.