The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) on Monday night seized several antique idols from the residence and godowns of an American businessman of Indian origin, in connection with a smuggling racket busted in Chennai last year.
The agency had in June 2016 arrested Deendayalan, an art dealer alleged to be the mastermind, and had later arrested his grandson and two other accused in last October.
Sources said interrogation of one of the accused arrested in October, who was identified as New Delhi resident Udit Jain, revealed the involvement of Vijay Nanda, a U.S. citizen of Indian origin, who has a house in Girgaum and several godowns in Byculla.
“The search of Nanda’s house revealed figurines and stone sculptures of Hindu deities like ‘Mahishasur Mardini’ and ‘Ganesha’, dating back to the 17th and 18th centuries and even to the 1st century AD. In one of the godowns, we found six large stone idols, which appear to have been stolen from temples in east and south India. There have been attempts to legitimise them by obtaining certificates from the Aracheological Society of India (ASI) by submitting bogus papers,” said a DRI official....................Read more
Source: The Hindu