Oct 3, 2007
(LIP-ir) -- Peru's official government news agency reported yesterday that the crater where a meteorite fell in Puno, Peru was being guarded by 20 of Peru's National Police officers.
Chief of the police station, Major Victor Anaya stated that the officers had been placed near the meteorite landing site to keep a group of U.S. citizens from trafficking pieces of the meteorite.
On Monday October 1, Ronald Woodman, the president of Peru's Geophysics Institute (IGP) claimed that a group of U.S. citizens, led by Michael Farmer, were attempting to traffic pieces of the meteorite.
Woodman stated that Farmer was a known meteorite hunter that searched for meteorites around the world and sold them to collectors. He stated, "They planned to start digging today and take them out of the country. This is worth money, and they are taking them to sell them not to study them."
The Geophysics president expressed his discontent with respect to the team led by Farmer. He stated that they were taking advantage of the townspeoples' ignorance, stating that the meteorite was worth much more than what they were paying.
Anaya reported that police had searched for the meteorite hunters at their hotel but were unable to catch them because they had left. He explained that the U.S. citizens had urged the townspeople to collect samples, causing some of them to attempt to drain the water from the crater.