By Andrea Romano
March 01, 2019
Patrick Landmann/Getty Images

Customs officials find all kind of strange contraband being smuggled in people’s suitcases, like roast pigs, giant millipedes, or even birds stuffed in hair rollers.

But customs agents in Cairo managed to intercept something a little more ghoulish — and very valuable.

According to The New York Times, security officials at Cairo International Airport found mummified human body parts that were concealed in a hollowed-out speaker. There were six pieces belonging to two different mummies: two feet and lower legs, two hands plus forearms, an upper arm, and part of a torso.

The parts were examined and confirmed by experts to be parts from ancient mummies, according to Egypt Today.

The mummy parts were discovered as the speaker went through x-ray scanners, on its way to a flight to Belgium. The identity of the smuggler, or whether they’re facing any charges, was not released, The New York Times reported.

According to Live Science, all ancient artifacts, including mummified body parts, that originated in Egypt are government property, which means private ownership of these artifacts is prohibited by law. In addition, attempting to trade, smuggle or sell artifacts is a severe offense, punishable by a fine of between 5,000 to 50,000 Egyptian pounds, as well as two years in prison.

Egypt is known for its rich history and valuable artifacts. According to the Antiquities Coalition, there have been $3 billion in losses due to looting and trafficking of ancient artifacts since the 2011 Revolution in Egypt.

The parts are being transferred to the Museum of Antiquities in Cairo for restoration, Live Science reported. The New York Times added that Egypt’s Ministry of Antiquities will have the items analyzed, examined, and preserved for further study.

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