Man held for stealing Buddha statue | The Express Tribune


HARIPUR:

Police arrested a man and recovered a Buddha statue worth millions of rupees from his possession during a raid at his house in the Sultanpur area of Khanpur.

A case has also been registered against the man under the Antiquities Act.

According to sources, the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Archeology Department, along with police, conducted a raid on a tip-off and recovered the statue. Police said that the raid was conducted along with the Field Officer of the archaeology department Gul Nabi, and site incharge Raja Adnan. Nabi said that the Buddah’s statue was around 2,000 years old.

Police said that the statue was supposed to be smuggled to Punjab. Therefore, they raided the house of Masroor Shah and took the statue into their custody.

Sources said the operation against the mafia involved in antiquities smuggling has saved the precious Buddha statue from being smuggled. However, a major operation is required in Khanpur Behmala, Taxila, against the mafia, which has excavated the Buddha statutes and other antiquates from the locals land and kept them at their homes, which is beyond the reach of the Archeology Department.

Sources said that fake antiques are also manufactured in Taxila. Sculptors make fake statues and sell them to the mafia, who sells them abroad as real sculptures in other countries. Sources said that the department was aware of this mafia.

Two months ago, Punjab police had arrested two men in Taxila for making fake statues and selling them in the international market.

Last year, police from Kot Najibullah recovered a statue from the home of a citizen in a village near Khanpur on a tip-off and registered a case.

 

Published in The Express Tribune, January 13th, 2022.




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