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Ramakanta Biswas

Berhampur: An illegal deal involving sale of antique Hanuman coins at a whopping Rs 2 crore was busted in Ganjam district with arrest of seven persons in this connection.

The racket was busted during a raid at a house owned by one Surya Patra at Shanti Nagar area under Bada Bazar police limits in Berhampur on Monday.

During the raid, three copper Hanuman coins, Rs 1.5 lakh cash, two motorcycles, magnet, spirit and other incriminating items were seized from the possession of the arrested persons.

The accused were identified as Pradhan Mohapatra (41), Anil Kusum (34), Suresh Meher (31) of Sambalpur, Jayant Pradhan (21), Bijay Kumar Bag (40) of Rourkela, Akshay Kumar Patra (36) of Sorada and Jayram Patra (34) of K Nuagaon in Ganjam.

According to sources, people believe that Hanuman coins have magical powers and spend huge amount of money to procure them.

The accused had assembled at Surya Patra's house and were waiting for the prospective buyers to sell the antique Hanuman coins when police raided the house following a tip-off. While seven persons were arrested, the house owner managed to give the police a slip.

A case has been registered in this regard under relevant Sections of IPC and Antiques & Treasures Act, 1972. The arrested persons were produced in a court today and further investigation is underway, the police said.

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