Lucknow: A man has been arrested in Mau area of Uttar Pradesh with an antique Buddha idol worth around Rs.3 crore that was stolen from Bihar a few months ago, police said on Friday.
Bhola Ram was caught Thursday from Mohamdabad area, following a joint operation by the special operations group (SOG) and the district police. The idol is made of `ashtadhatu`, a precious eight-metal alloy.
"He (Ram) claims the idol was stolen by his gang members from a temple in Bihar a few months ago. The smuggler was to sell the idol to some of his clients in Uttar Pradesh`s Azamgarh district," police inspector Nanhe Saroj told reporters Friday in Mau, some 250 km from Lucknow.
"Preliminary investigations indicate that besides Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, Bhola Ram operated in various other states, including Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttarakhand. It has also come to light during enquiry that Bhola Ram had also worked for a racket supplying counterfeit currency notes," he added.
According to police, Bhola Ram is a native of Uttar Pradesh, and has been in the illegal trade for the last seven years.