Egypt pyramids: Three men arrested for selling stones from ancient Giza structures to tourists in video

Undercover journalists catch trio breaking off rocks and claiming to sell them for as much as £386

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The Independent Online

Egyptian authorities have arrested three men caught on camera selling pieces of the Giza pyramids to tourists.

Undercover journalists from local website DotsMSR filmed the trio trying to peddle the portions of one of the Seven Wonders of the World for as little as £22 - and boasting about shifting them for as much as £386.

According to The Cairo Post, Egyptian officials had initially denied some vendors sold pieces of the ancient stone to tourists.

However, a Facebook post by Egypt’s Ministry of Antiquities seemed to confirm those selling the bits of pyramid in the video had been arrested.

The post read: “Tourism and Antiquities Police arrested the three persons who appeared on a widespread video showing them while selling pieces of the Pyramid’s rocks. Prosecution is handling the situation now and results will be published after the termination of investigations.”

English language Egypt news website AhramOnline spoke to Hussein Bassir, Director of Giza Plateau, home to the most famous pyramids and the Sphinx, who claimed the incidents in the video had taken place in an area by the Menakawre which is not especially popular with tourists.

The website says Mr Bassir told them that although there were always security personnel around the Giza Plateau, this cannot be the case everywhere as the area is so vast. 

He also alleged: "The blocks shown in the video are authentic, but have fallen from the pyramid complex across the span of time and have not been broken off by thieves" 

"The criminals seen in the video were arrested and detained for four days on charges of vandalism, trading in antiquities, and fraud."

Mr Bassir also told the website that despite their good intentions, "the journalists shown in the video may also face charges of owning and trading in stolen antiquities.

"The pieces of the pyramids are still in their possession. If they had handed over the blocks to the police immediately after receiving them, their situation may have been different," he said.