Egyptian authorities have arrested three people for illegally selling stones from the ancient Giza Pyramid complex to undercover journalists. In a video, the three men were seen making a deal with the journalists.

The sting operation to nab the trio was carried out by Dotmsr – a local website – the Interior Ministry said. Arrests were made on 6 February, according to the Associated Press.

The three men, all horse carriage drivers, were caught selling two stones from the 4,500-year-old pyramids of Giza, the oldest and the only one that is intact – of the seven ancient wonders of the world. They were quoting Egyptian pounds 250 (£22, $32) for the stones.

During negotiations, one of the accused boasted that he had sold the ancient stones of the pharaonic monument to foreign tourists for up to £384 ($557, €500), the report said.

The ministry stated that there were similar incidents involving Russian tourists as prospective buyers of chunks of stones from the pyramids. Newspapers raised the issue from time to time, but there had been no proof, hence, the sting operation was undertaken to help officials take legal action against the men.

Meanwhile, the website applauded authorities for immediately investigating the incident after the video was posted on YouTube. The antiquities police reached the area soon after viewing it and identified the men who appeared in video, a report on the website said.

Moreover, authorities said that following such illegal incidents, including last month's climbing of the Great pyramid of Giza by a German teenager, security in the area has been beefed up.