Idol smuggler’s grandson in DRI net, antiques seized

Sleuths secured 9 idols and Tanjore paintings; a dental professor also arrested on charges of illegally concealing, exporting artifacts 

CHENNAI: Based on a specific tip off, Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) sleuths seized antique objects,  including nine idols and Tanjore paintings, from the houses of a grandson of Deenadayalan (85), an alleged idol smuggling mastermind, and a dental professor in the city on Tuesday. 

The antique idols seized from Deenadayalan’s grandson’s and a dental professor’s
residences in Chennai on Tuesday | Express

The arrested have been identified as T M Balaji (35) of T Nagar, who works as a professor in a city dental college and Srikanth Omkaram (40) of Valasaravakkam, grandson of Deenadayalan.

The arrests come five months after Deenadayalan was arrested from his residence at Alwarpet on charges of smuggling antique objects. Investigations revealed that the duo worked under Deenadayalan’s directions.

The two were arrested on charges of illegally concealing artifacts and statues in their residences and exporting them. The seized items included broken stone statues in different shapes, stone statue of Buddha, Mahavishnu, Brahmi, Nandi, stone pillar carvings, and documents. 

During interrogation, the duo confessed they were smuggling the items to foreign countries, using fake ASI certificates. They also pointed out that one Udit Jain, from New Delhi helped them produce fake documents under the direction of Deenadayalan, who was arrested in June in the same case. 
Also Udit, who is said to have acted as a middle man and suspected to have arranged for registration of stolen antiques at New Delhi, was intercepted in Mumbai.  All three have been remanded to judicial custody and further investigation is on. 

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The New Indian Express