AP: 5 held for stealing ancient ornaments
Hyderabad: Police on Tuesday arrested five persons of a seven-member gang and seized about 1.7 kg gold coins belonging to Moghul era and 4.2 kg silver ornaments from their possession.
Accused Mohammed Rafeeq and Abdul Bari (both labour contractors) besides three labourers stole gold coins and silver articles, while they were demolishing an old house at Doodbowli here.
They kept it with them without informing the house owner or depositing with the government officials, Hyderabad Police Commissioner Anurag Sharma told reporters.
The market value of total seized material is about Rs 50 lakh while the estimated antiquity value of the same will be about Rs 5-7 crores, as per the Archaeology Department Officers, he said.
The gold and silver ornaments seized were crafted by artisans during the regime of Moghuls, Nizam Nawabs and others, thus having great archaeological and historical importance as per the opinion of Archaeological officers, the Hyderabad police chief said.
The gold coins (Ashrafis) belong to Moghul period and some are from ancient Roman times, he added.
Rafeeq and Abdul took contract to demolish the old house in October and while pulling it down, they found gold coins, gold and silver ornaments (treasure) hidden in the wall of one of the rooms. They conspired and distributed it among themselves, Sharma explained.
The five accused were booked under section 380 (theft in dwelling house) IPC and section 20 of The Indian Treasure Trove Act 1878.