African art scams usurps the name of Unesco

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Twenty victims lost between a few thousand and 800 euros by thinking of buying African works whose authenticity or export were fraudulently "validated" by Unesco.

Faced with the increase in scams and illicit trafficking in cultural goods from Africa, Unesco calls for “the highest vigilance”. In a long press release to appear this week and to which Young Africa to have access, the United Nations organization warns of a new scam system which appeared last year.

Each time, the scenario and the profile of the victims are similar. “The scammer is aimed at a person who has family or professional links with West Africa or Central Africa, specifies Cédric Bourgeois who heads the Unesco investigation office in charge of fraud cases and corruption. The victim does not necessarily have African origins, he can be European without family ties to the continent. The crook offers him art objects, often statuettes, specifying their origin, and sometimes even the name of the village chief from which they would come. Then, the name of Unesco is advanced, fraudulently, to certify the sale and certify that the cultural goods are authentic or can be exported. The victim sends the money ... and never receives the works. "

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