Lucknow, May 31 (IANS) Four men involved in a Nepal-based smuggling racket have been arrested in Uttar Pradesh’s Siddharthnagar district with an antique Buddha idol worth $21 million in the international market, police said Monday.
The four, residents of different Uttar Pradesh districts bordering Nepal, were arrested Sunday evening from Mehdewa area, some 300 km from here.
‘The four have admitted that the ashtdhatu (eight metal) idol of Lord Buddha was stolen from a temple in Nepal by some of their associates and that they were entrusted with the task of selling the idol in Uttar Pradesh,’ Deputy Superintendent of Police Virendra Kumar said Monday.
‘We are still to ascertain from which temple the idol was stolen. They have confessed that their job in the gang was primarily confined to selling the stolen idols in several districts of Uttar Pradesh, including Gorakhpur and Maharajganj,’ he added.
According to police, the arrested have provided information about their other associates operating in other parts of the state.