US Customs is bragging to the press about its seizure of Roman coins the importer "misrepresented" came from the Middle East when "everyone" knows "Roman" means "Italian." But from the pictures, the coins appear to be from the 4th C. at which time Rome had mints in the "Middle East." Moreover, it's quite likely the importer was being truthful about what he knew about their find spot. So, this could very well be yet another case of Customs overreach that is not contested in court because the low value of items that are seized and the high cost of legal services.
US Customs promises to "repatriate" the coins (estimated value $1,000) to the Italian Government at a future date. What the Italians will do with them remains to be seen, but CPO suspects they would be better off in collector's trays than dumped unwanted on Italy's grossly underfunded and corrupt cultural bureaucracy.
CPO is even more concerned that such questionable seizures will multiply if HR 1493, a bill meant to ramp up customs enforcement, becomes law. There is already enough abuses visited on small businesses and collectors by overzealous Customs officers. We need to encourage fairness and strict adherence to law, not "getting a seizure" to "get more press."