Idol Wing arrests woman at airport over stolen statues

The Idol Wing CID of the Tamil Nadu police arrested an Indian origin woman from France on charges of storing stolen antique idols in her house in Puducherry.

The suspect, Marie Therese Anandi Vanina, was arrested on her arrival at the Chennai airport. Originally, the Idol Wing arrested Pushparajan, a close aide of Deenadayalan, an illegal antique dealer, in October 2016 and raided a house in Colas Nagar, Puducherry.

They seized 11 panchaloha idols worth several crores. The searches were conducted in the house belonging to a French couple of Puducherry origin based on Pushparajan’s confession. Idols of Lord Nataraja, Mahishasura Mardini, Somaskandar, Kalyanasundara, Lord Shiva, Parvathi and Amman were among the idols seized.

The idols were among those stolen from the Somanathesvara and Cholesvara temples in Melapadi village in Vellore, 30 years ago.

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