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Stolen Picasso Painting Worth Millions Of Dollars Found During Drug Raid

By Chinelo Eze
16 August 2022   |   10:00 am
During a drug raid that was performed recently in the central province of Diyala, Iraqi authorities claim to have discovered a stolen Picasso artwork. Three people who were detained for their involvement in the trade and transportation of illegal substances were in possession of the piece, which was estimated to be worth "millions of dollars."…

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During a drug raid that was performed recently in the central province of Diyala, Iraqi authorities claim to have discovered a stolen Picasso artwork. Three people who were detained for their involvement in the trade and transportation of illegal substances were in possession of the piece, which was estimated to be worth “millions of dollars.”

In a statement to Iraqi News Agency, the director of the anti-narcotics media office, Colonel Bilal Sobhi, said, “The anti-narcotics directorate carried out an operation in which a network of three defendants who were involved in the trade and transport of narcotic drugs were arrested, and a painting belonging to the international painter Picasso was seized in their possession.”

A larger operation that started in July was the subject of the raid on Saturday. The statement adds that it has detained 1,300 individuals and seized “44kg of narcotic narcotics” in addition to “37kg of stimulants, including crystal.”

The painting has reportedly not yet been validated, and the Iraqi Ministry of Interior has not yet provided any images or additional information about it. It is unknown at this time if any further works of art or other priceless cultural artefacts were found during the raids. By the time of publication, the Iraqi Interior Ministry had not responded to a request for comment.

The extensive raids to “curb the trade, promotion, and use of drugs” are “ongoing,” according to Sobhi’s statement, and they are “concentrated” on cafés and other locations “where young people gather.” He made special mention of the connections between the antiquities trade and different crimes and illicit trades like “drugs, murder, theft, and kidnapping.”