Skulls in the mail: Indonesia foils artifact smuggling

Indonesian custom display skulls and sent from a post office during a press conference in Bali, Indonesia, Friday, Feb. 9, 2018. Customs officials on the Indonesian tourist island of Bali say they’ve foiled an attempt to mail 24 elaborately decorated human skulls to the Netherlands. (AP Photo/Firdia Lisnawati)
An Indonesian custom officer display skulls and sent from a post office during a press conference in Bali, Indonesia, Friday, Feb. 9, 2018. Customs officials on the Indonesian tourist island of Bali say they’ve foiled an attempt to mail 24 elaborately decorated human skulls to the Netherlands. (AP Photo/Firdia Lisnawati)
Indonesian custom officers display skulls and sent from a post office during a press conference in Bali, Indonesia, Friday, Feb. 9, 2018. Customs officials on the Indonesian tourist island of Bali say they’ve foiled an attempt to mail 24 elaborately decorated human skulls to the Netherlands. (AP Photo/Firdia Lisnawati)
Indonesian custom officers display skulls and sent from a post office during a press conference in Bali, Indonesia, Friday, Feb. 9, 2018. Customs officials on the Indonesian tourist island of Bali say they’ve foiled an attempt to mail 24 elaborately decorated human skulls to the Netherlands. (AP Photo/Firdia Lisnawati)

BALI, Indonesia — Customs officials on the Indonesian tourist island of Bali said Friday that they've foiled an attempt to mail 24 elaborately decorated human skulls to the Netherlands.

The Customs Department said that cartons containing the skulls were intercepted on two separate dates in January. The skulls are believed to be culturally-significant artifacts from other parts of Indonesia.

They were labeled as manufactured from synthetic materials but found to be human after being examined by experts from the Balinese Cultural Heritage Conservation Center.

Customs official Ni Aniek said the skulls are probably from Papua, a Melanesian region that makes up easternmost Indonesia, and Kalimantan on the island of Borneo, home to indigenous Dayak peoples.

No one has been arrested.

The department said the cultural heritage center will decide what to do with the skulls.

Must Read

China says it can't end North Korea nuke program...

Sep 12, 2016

China says the United States has inflamed the conflict on the Korean Peninsula and must carry the...

Asian stocks rise after Wall Street gains

Dec 21, 2016

Asian stocks are higher after U.S. stocks rose to record levels despite attacks in Germany and...

Global markets mixed after Wall Street loss

Dec 23, 2016

Asian markets are mostly lower while Europe has gained in early trading ahead of the Christmas...

China pledges further cuts in excess steel, coal...

Jan 10, 2017

China's top economic planner has pledged to continue cutting steel and coal production, which have...

A look at how Trump might shake things up in Asia

Jan 16, 2017

Donald Trump has offered views on U.S. relations with Asia that could indicate radical shifts in...

Sign up now!

Advertisement