CHENNAI: The Idol Wing CID of Tamil Nadu has arrested two Nepal-based men who allegedly helped Deenadayalan (85), said to be the mastermind in idol smuggling, to sell the items in international markets.
The duo identified as Valabha Prakash (68) and his son Aditya Prakash (32), were natives of Nepal and were staying in Mumbai. The suspects were found to be involved in selling smuggled ancient idols from South India in New York and other international art galleries for more than a decade.
A G Pon Manickavel, Inspector-General of Police, Idol Wing CID, told presspersons that the father and son ran a gallery store- Indo Nepal Gallery in Mumbai. “They helped Deenadayalan sell around 13 ancient idols that were stolen from Narambu Nathar Temple in Palavur in Tirunelveli in 2005,” added a source.
It is also learnt that one among the 12 statues, that of Anandanatarajar, was worth Rs 15 crore and the other idols were worth up to Rs five crore.
Based on the information given by Deenadayalan who was arrested on June 23, police arrested the duo in Mumbai. The suspects were brought to Chennai by flight on Monday night and were produced before a Srivilliputhur court on Tuesday.