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Suryakant Jena

Bhubaneswar: Odisha Crime Branch officials today achieved a major breakthrough by busting an international idol theft racket in Bhubaneswar and recovered two Asta Dhatu idols worth around Rs 2.5 crore.

Acting on intelligence inputs, the Special Task Force (STF) of Crime Branch conducted a raid at the house of one Sayed Zilnoor in Jadupur area on the outskirts of Bhubaneswar. After a detailed search, the STF traced two Asta Dhatu idols, one weighing around 18 kg and the other around 14 kg.

Crime Branch IG Yatindra Koyal said, “The cost of both the idols is believed to be around Rs 2.5 crore in the international market.”

As Sayed did not have any documentation establishing the ownership of the idols, the STF team arrested him and seized the statues.

After preliminary interrogation, the Crime Branch has unearthed Sayed’s links with inter-state and international idol theft rackets.

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