The Maradu police have arrested two Bangladeshi nationals in connection with the theft of valuables from the Maradu Pandavath Siva Temple last Saturday.
The arrested have been identified as Aslam Khan, 31 and Juvel, 18.
The hunt is on for one Akram, who according to the police was the mastermind behind the theft.
The entire loot of traditional brass lamps and vessels worth about Rs.3 lakh was recovered from the accused. The valuables were found in a sack buried near their accommodation at Shreyas Nagar near Kaniyampuzha.
The accused who were arrested in an operation in the early hours of Friday were produced before the court and remanded. Police sources said the credentials of the accused remained to be verified.
A grainy CCTV footage from shops adjacent to the temple helped the police crack the case.
The accused confessed to the theft during interrogation.
The police said they were staying illegally without valid documents. In the guise of ragpickers, they had been observing the temple.
They got wind of the shifting of temple valuables to the office room on account of ongoing renovation works and took advantage of the situation in the early hours of Saturday.
The theft at the temple under the Cochin Devaswom Board was first detected by a woman engaged in cleaning the temple premises, who found the doors of the office room and the cabinet inside wide open.
Though the temporary sanctum santorum was also broken into, valuable articles such as the ‘Panchaloha idol’ were found intact.