Art crime is huge business. Estimated to be worth between $1.5 – $6bn (£1- £4bn) annually, it is now the fourth largest international crime, after drug dealing, gun running and money laundering!!

A very famous FBI art-  retrieval expert :  Special Agent Robert “Bob” Wittman has just retired.

For nearly two decades, usually masquerading as a crooked art dealer with links to the Mafia or the Colombian drug cartels, he has run undercover sting operations, luring criminals into selling him stolen works of art.

In one famous operation,one operation he found himself ” in a hotel bathroom in Copenhagen hugging a Rembrandt to his chest as a Danish Swat (Special Weapons and Tactics) team burst into the room to arrest an Iraqi-born hoodlum named Baha Kadhoum” , who was trying to sell to him Rembrandt’s self-portrait from 1630- worth Millions.

Even in retirement, this agent wont allowhis face to be photographed, for risk of reprisals..

Advertisements