Subhash Chandra Kapoor, a U.S. citizen of Indian origin, is being brought to India from Germany after being extradited for his alleged involvement in smuggling of stolen antique idols.

The Madras High Court had recently dismissed a writ petition filed by Kapoor to quash a non-bailable arrest warrant issued against him by a Jayankondam court in an idol theft case. The accused was recently arrested in Germany following a red-corner notice issued by Interpol. The Tamil Nadu Crime Branch officials, in coordination with their counterparts in the Central Bureau of Investigation, pursued the case in Germany to secure his extradition.

Temple theft

Kapoor’s name had cropped up during investigations into the theft of 18 antique idols from Sri Varadaraja Perumal Temple in Ariyalur in 2008. The next year, three of the accused involved in the theft were arrested at Kaladi in Kerala. Subsequently they were handed over to the Idol Theft Wing of the Crime Branch-Criminal Investigation Department in Chennai. During interrogation, they purportedly confessed to having stolen the idols at the instance of one Sanjivi Asokan, who had struck a contract with Kapoor in 2005-06 to smuggle antique idols to him via Hong Kong and the United Kingdom.

Subsequently, the idols were stolen from the temple and papers were forged in the name of a firm to obtain a certificate for exporting the idols.


The murky trail of stolen antiquitiesJuly 15, 2012