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Offbeat

Heads up: Indonesia foils bizarre human skull smuggling attempt

PUBLISHED : Friday, 09 February, 2018, 11:04pm
UPDATED : Friday, 09 February, 2018, 11:04pm

Customs officials on the Indonesian tourist island of Bali said on Friday that they have foiled an attempt to mail 24 elaborately decorated human skulls to the Netherlands.

The Customs Department said that cartons containing the skulls were intercepted on two separate dates in January. The skulls are believed to be culturally-significant artefacts from other parts of Indonesia.

They were labelled as manufactured from synthetic materials but found to be human after being examined by experts from the Balinese Cultural Heritage Conservation Centre.

Customs official Ni Aniek said the skulls are probably from Papua, a Melanesian region that makes up easternmost Indonesia, and Kalimantan on the island of Borneo, home to indigenous Dayak peoples.

No one has been arrested.

The department said the cultural heritage centre will decide what to do with the skulls.