Confirmed: Antiquities Smuggling from Syria
It is one of 11 Palmyran busts they were offered by a dealer calling himself Abu Khaled, along with a dozen Roman capitals. Those items could all have been stolen from archaeological sites but many other smaller items they were offered confirm the story of the Apamea satellite photos - the Syrians are digging holes at archaeological sites and looting them badly.
The article is behind a pay wall but the story is that The Sunday Times did a sting with a journalist posing as an art dealer - presumably the co-author of the piece, George Arbuthnott.
The other pieces they were offered include a carved pillar, third century glass and a lachrymatory. The dealer claimed they were smuggled through the Abboudieh-Dabbousieh crossing, and admitted of several items: "These were dug out from the ground"
Palmyra aka Tadmor (as the looter called it) was hit by shelling in recent months, and there were videos of people possibly taking heads last year.
[Apologies for the disjointed via Blackberry post. If anyone wants to use the photos, just right click and save them.]
UPDATE - the second photo here is clearly a stock photo, as is clear in the higher resolution photo with the article online here (£).