Five accused of Egypt museum robbery detained until trial

Further investigations are underway into robbery of artifacts from a university museum in country's south

Some of the items stolen from a university in the Egyptian province of Sohag.
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Five people accused of robbing an Egyptian archaeological museum at a university in the country's south have been detained until their trial.

Four people were arrested on Sunday after confessing to stealing 59 items from the archaeological museum at Sohag University, the country’s interior ministry said.

Egypt’s prosecutors on Monday ordered the pretrial detention of the accused after launching its own investigation, which determined that five people were involved in the theft.

No immediate reason was given for the difference in the number of people thought to be involved.

The four arrested on Sunday were two male students, a female student and one of the students’ fathers, the ministry said.

Initial police reports said the two male students broke the locks of the museum inside Sohag University’s Faculty of Archaeology and then, while one blocked the view of the security camera, the other entered, broke a number of display cases and stole 59 of the more than 600 items on display.

The female student said during questioning that she was phoned by one of the others and asked to drive him to a location near Sohag’s centre. She said she was not aware that he was carrying anything illicit.

According to the prosecution’s statement, the remaining two suspects categorically denied being involved in the theft in any capacity.

The investigation is continuing, the prosecution said.

Updated: October 25, 2022, 1:51 PM