"It's really part of what we hoped would happen ... there would be an increased awareness across the country of Mongolian law and the U.S. government is cooperating in protecting these cultural treasures," Mr Painter said.
He predicted there will be more such cases as word gets out about the illegal sale of Mongolian dinosaur bones. Louis Martinez of US Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations said the investigation into the smuggling ring was ongoing and that he could not give any more details on the case.
|The Fossil of the Tyrannosaurus Bataar Dinosaur, which lived about 70 million years ago|
"The Mongolian government has learnt that there is a global marketplace for these illicit fossils and it was really something that was going on on a much larger scale than we were originally aware of," he concluded.
Postscript: at the time of writing the seized dinosaur remains are still awaiting repatriation to Mongolia.