U.S. Returns Fossils Of Over 18 Dinosaur Skeletons To Mongolia
NEW YORK, NY - U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara and Special Agent-in-Charge James T. Hayes, Jr., of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations announce the return to the Mongolian government of the fossilized remains of over 18 dinosaur skeletons, including two Tyrannosaurus bataar skeletons that were unlawfully taken from Mongolia. The Office already returned one Tyrannosaurus bataar, fully prepared for display, to Mongolia in a ceremony held in May 2013. The repatriation represents the culmination of a two-year effort to return numerous dinosaur fossils that were unlawfully taken from Mongolia, some of which were illegally smuggled into the United States using false customs importation documents, and some of which were voluntarily forfeited to the United States for return to Mongolia despite never having been brought into the country. That two-year effort included two successful civil forfeiture law suits, a successful criminal investigation and prosecution, and separate civil actions undertaken to secure the transfer of the groups of fossils.