Chandauli (UP), May 20 (ANI): Uttar Pradesh police had recovered at least 19 antique idols of Hindu gods, allegedly being smuggled out of the country and arrest three people.
Acting on a tip off, police laid a trap in Chandauli district and trapped the antique smugglers who tried to evade the police at a checkpoint.
"Three persons have been arrested. One person is from Bihar and two from Benaras. We recovered 19 antique idols. While investigating we found that they were taking the idols from Bodh Gaya to Benaras to sell. We found out that they are part of a big gang engaged in antique smuggling," said Anand Kumar, a police official.
One of the three arrested persons revealed their modus operandi, but claimed ignorance about the actual worth of the idols.
"A person in Benaras wanted to buy the idols so we were going to sell them," said Ramvilas.
Experts have been called to find out the exact period to which the idols belong.
Dealing in antiques is banned under the Antiquity and Art Treasure Act (AATA).
Under the Act, no object more than 100 years old can be taken out of the country without permission. (ANI)