5 held, idols worth crores recovered

Five idols, believed to be made out of panchaloha and estimated to be worth a few crores in the international market, were recovered by the Shivajinagar police on Sunday. The police, however, are yet to ascertain whether the idols have any antique value.

The police got a tip-off that some people were selling idols near St Mary’s church in Shivajinagar. They had approached some people near the church and offered the idols for Rs 1.5 crore.

The police arrested the gang and recovered the idols of Goddesses Lakshmi and Parvathi, and Shiva and Anjaneya.

The arrested have been identified as Babajan from Krishnagiri, and Senthil, Azim, Babu and Subramanya from Tamil Nadu. The police, however, failed to nab the kingpin, who is absconding.

“The ringleader of the gang managed to escape and we believe he was running the gang in the city. It is believed that the gang stole idols from ancient temples in Tamil Nadu and sold them in the city,” the investigating officer said.

The Shivajinagar police have registered a theft and cheating case against the arrested. The police will send the idols to the archeology department to ascertain their value.

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