By Huseyin Bagis
ISTANBUL (AA) – Istanbul police said on Monday officers seized an ornamental dagger which once belonged to Libya’s former dictator, Muammar Gaddafi.
The ivory dagger – garnished with ruby, sapphire, emerald and diamond – was found during an anti-smuggling operation, police said in a statement.
A Turkish businessman, identified only his initials A.A., and two aides were detained during the operation in Istanbul’s Esenyurt district.
Police say the dagger was looted from one of Gaddafi’s palaces during an uprising which started in 2011.
The bloody conflict ended on Oct. 20, 2011 with the removal and death of the longtime Libyan leader.
Police said the Turkish suspect bought the dagger for $4.6 million three months ago and was planning to sell it for $10 million to a Saudi businessman.
Three people were released after questioning, pending trail.
In another operation in Istanbul’s Arnavutkoy district, police also confiscated 200 gold and bronze coins belonging to the Byzantine and Ottoman eras.
*Anadolu Agency correspondent Tuncay Kayaoglu contributed to this report