Five held for stealing antique jewellery hidden in old walls
By Express News Service - HYDERABAD
12th December 2012 10:47 AM
On a tip-off, the Task Force police on Tuesday arrested five persons of a seven-member gang in connection with theft of antique gold and silver ornaments worth Rs 5 crore, that were found in the walls of a house during its demolition.
The stolen ornaments are said to be have been made during the regime of Moghuls and Nizams. Two others involved in the case are absconding.
Police said the accused had found the treasure in the walls of an old house at Doodbowli that they were demolishing. Mohammed Rafeeq (55) and Mohammed Abdul Bari (58) are labour contractors who took up the demolition in October. They engaged daily wage labourers Sara Ramulu (47), Mohammed Muneer (55), Mallesh (23), Ramulu and Yadaiah for the demolition. Ramulu and Yadaiah are absconding.
Police registered cases against the five under section 380 (theft in dwelling house) of the IPC and section 20 of The Indian Treasure Trove Act 1878.
While producing the accused before the media here on Tuesday, Hyderabad police commissioner Anurag Sharma said, “While demolishing the house, they found gold coins, gold and silver ornaments (treasure) hidden in the wall of one of the rooms. Rafeeq and Bari distributed 20 per cent gold ornaments to the labourers and the remaining gold coins (Ashrafis), gold and silver ornaments and other articles, they kept for themselves. Some of the gold was also sold out in Mumbai.”
The team recovered about 1,690 grams of gold coins and gold jewellery, about 4,200 grams of silver ornaments and articles and about 490 grams of imitation silver jewellery. The gold coins reportedly belong to the Moghul and ancient Roman period.
Police said that the house was inherited by one Satish Kumar from his grandfather Vishwanath, who reportedly purchased the house 50 years ago.
“The market value of the stolen booty is approximately `50 lakhs, but the antiquity value as pegged by the archeology department officers is around `5 cr. The seized ornaments were crafted by great artisans during the regime of Moghuls and Nizams, thus having great archaeological and historical importance,” Sharma said.
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