Chenai: Tamil Nadu Police on Tuesday January 11, 2022 arrested a Kashmiri businessman named Javed Shah who was involved in an international idol theft case. A statue worth around Rs 40 crore was recovered from his possession. Police have scanned his contacts and are looking for others associated with the network. In addition to the Tamil Nadu Police CB-CID statues wing, the Director General of Police (ADGP) had received reports that some statues were illegally kept in a shop in Mahabalipuram.
A Special Police Team (SIT) was formed based on the feedback. The team then handed over Javed Shah’s shop to the Indian Handicrafts Emporium. Javed Shah was also arrested on the spot after the information was corrected. Police recovered idols and antiques from his shop during the raid. These include 11 statues including eight objects. The archaeological department after an investigation said that the statues date from the 11th century. The police investigation revealed that Javed didn’t even have a license to sell the idols.
Recovered idols include a statue of Goddess Parvati, a flute-playing statue of Lord Krishna, a ten-headed statue of Ravana, and other ancient artifacts. In the international market, they are estimated at around Rs. 40 crores. Javed Shah could be the tip of the racket and his strings could be linked to major international criminals, police say. Police said Javed is a resident of Kashmir and runs an idol shop in Mahabalipuram. During questioning, Javed told police he had been smuggling for 30 years. He said he used to secretly sell precious idols to tourists visiting hotels in the city. He was taken into custody after being arrested. Meanwhile, his brother is said to be on the run. The police check which temples these statues belong to.
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