600-year-old idols seized in Tamil Nadu

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Chennai, Apr 16 (ANI): The Chennai police in Tamil Nadu seized idols worth millions of rupees in the international grey market.

The idols have been returned to the temple authorities.

This was done by G. Thilakavathi, Additional Director General of Police-economic offences wing, Chennai, in the presence of the Hindu Endowment Board and Charitable Trust Commissioner Pichyandi.

In all 20 idols were recovered that had been stolen over a period of time from temples of Arasalisvarer, Olinthiyampattu, Nachiyar and Mariamman.

The state Crime Investigation Department (CID) has formed a special team.

"When a group was attempting to hide the statue in the river bed near Sautarkat in Setiapeth, the police team which is on the prowl was successful in locating the group of thieves and through them few more statues were also located," said Thilakavathi.

She also said that the antique idols were meant to be sent out to foreign counties.

Sanjeevi Ashokan, leader of the gang, has been involved in such acts for over 15 years. He and two of his associates, Shnakarlal and Balamurugan were arrested and detained under the Goondas Act.

A person booked under the Goondas Act, cannot come out on bail for a year. (ANI)

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