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Turkish Police Seize Gaddafi Ivory Dagger

Turkish Police Seize Gaddafi Ivory DaggerTurkish Police Seize Gaddafi Ivory Dagger

Turkish police have caught a man trying to sell a jeweled dagger allegedly pillaged from the palace of former Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi, according to the state-run news agency.

Police confiscated the carved ivory dagger encrusted with rubies, sapphires, emeralds and diamonds during a raid in the Istanbul suburb of Esenyurt, the Anadolu agency reported.

Alongside the dagger, police found a studded sheath and an ornate base decorated with lion figurines.

A businessman, who allegedly bought the dagger for $4.6 million in Libya three months ago, and two suspected accomplices were detained in an anti-smuggling operation, according to AP.

Identified by the authorities as A.A., the businessman was caught trying to sell the dagger to a Saudi national for $10 million.

Gaddafi was overthrown and killed in 2011 after a NATO-backed uprising. The self-styled Islamic State terrorist group and other extremists have gained ground in the power vacuum following Gaddafi’s ousting.

The three men were released pending trial on possible charges of smuggling and breaching rules related to the trade in endangered species.