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Gang held for idol thefts

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Breakthrough: The stolen idols that were recovered by the EOW police.
Breakthrough: The stolen idols that were recovered by the EOW police.

Special Correspondent

Eleven idols stolen from temples seized

CHENNAI: Officials of the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) apprehended a gang that targeted isolated temples and stole panchaloha idols. Eleven idols reported stolen from temples in Tiruvannamalai, Vellore and Kancheepuram districts were seized from the seven suspects, including three sellers.

According to Additional Director General of Police (EOW) G.Thilakavathi, a special team of the Idol Wing police raided a lodge in the Periamet area here on Saturday and seized an idol of Lord Krishna from a room. Three persons, K. Immanuel alias Sasikumar (37) of Vellore, K. Madasamy (47) of Tirunelveli and P. Pichaimani (48) of Rajapalayam, were arrested.

Preliminary investigation revealed that Immanuel had committed several thefts in temples along with his accomplices D. Velu (22) and G. Jagannathan alias Githiyon of Pallur near Arakkonam. The accused admitted that they had stolen four idols from a temple in Eralacheri village in Vellore district and buried it near Jagannathan’s house.

They also confessed to having stolen five idols of Lord Mahavir from a Jain temple in Tiruvannamalai district. The idols were given to A. Marisamy (48) of Villupuram district, who had a shop in Puducherry.

During a search, police recovered the five idols from his shop. Two idols allegedly stolen by S. Gangachalam of A. Sriyalur district, also arrested, and sold to Marisamy were also seized.

Ms. Thilakavathi said eight special teams were investigating the complaints lodged by 2,233 depositors against Justin Devadass alias David of JBJ City Developers Company. The complaints against Justin, his wife Bella Justin and Samuvel Natesan, an employee of the company, pertain to cheating to the tune of Rs.25.89 crore. Besides seizing 219 land documents, investigators had identified property worth Rs.10 crore belonging to the accused. Bella and Natesan were absconding, she said.

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