Photo courtesy Josh Denmark/Immigration and Customs Enforcement

An Egyptian mummy hand is on its way home after customs officials formally handed over the appendage — and four other artifacts — to Egyptian authorities Thursday.

The 8th century BCE hand had been smuggled into the United States, and customs agents found it labeled as a prop for a sci-fi movies during an investigation. It was the latest repatriation in the Operation Mummy’s Hand and Operation Mummy’s Curse probes, which include the case of the nesting sarcophagus found in a Brooklyn garage in 2009. 

According to Immigration and Customs Enforcement:

The ongoing investigation has identified a criminal network of smugglers, importers, money launderers, restorers and purchasers who used illegal methods to avoid detection as these items entered the United States. Items and funds were traced back to Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, Iraq, France, and other nations.

To date, Operation Mummy’s Curse has secured four indictments, two convictions, 19 search warrants, and 16 seizures totalling approximately $3 million. The agency is also seeking an international fugitive involved in the case.

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