Staff Reporter

Copper iridium coin was manufactured by the East India Company

VISAKHAPATNAM: The city police on Saturdayfoiled an attempt to sell a copper iridium coin dating back to 1616 and arrested three international smugglers from Mumbai, a gemologist from Mysore and two from Orissa from whom it was seized.

Commissioner of Police V.S.K. Kaumudi told The Hindu that the coin was expected to have an antique value of about Rs. 850 crores. Tawa, a Tibetan expert from Mysore representing a UK-based company, Sigma International Evaluation Company, was flown in by the Mumbai party for inspection of the coin at the behest of the prospective buyers. He told the police that "the coin seems to be genuine."

However, experts of international repute have to certify it to finalise its value. The copper iridium coin manufactured by the East India Company is a hard white metal belonging to platinum group.

"The cost of the coin is mind-boggling. We will get it examined by geologists of Andhra University to confirm its genuineness," Mr. Kaumudi said.

It was brought by Tirupati Rao of Jeypore, who rented a house at Prahladapuram, near Simhachalam, for the last four months. He, along with his friend, Dilip Acharya, were looking for a prospective client.

"We arrested Rao and his accomplice," Additional DCP P. Rama Rao told reporters at Gopalapatnam police station.