Lookout notice issued for bizman Ranvir Shah

The lookout notice was issued on Thursday evening to prevent Ranvir Shah, founder-trustee of Prakriti Foundation, from leaving the country.

Exactly a week to the day it recovered centuries-old idols and temple pillars from Ranvir Shah’s palatial bungalow, Tamil Nadu police’s idol wing on Thursday issued a lookout notice for the city-based businessman at the airports.

Sources said the lookout notice was issued on Thursday evening to prevent Shah, founder-trustee of Prakriti Foundation, from leaving the country. The action comes after the police recovered more than 200 artifacts, which are suspected to have been stolen from temples across Tamil Nadu, were seized from the businessman’s residence and farmhouse.

Though the police initially believed Shah was just a “buyer” and would not have any connection with the idol smuggling cartel, sources said, they now have evidence to prove otherwise.

“Incriminating CCTV footage have been accessed and they are being thoroughly scrutinised before we take the next course of action,” the sources told DH.

It is also believed that Shah has moved the court seeking anticipatory bail, which might be heard on Friday.

More than 200 antique items — stone idols, pillars and metal statues — whose value run into several crores were recovered from Shah’s residence and farmhouse in the past one week.

The raids came on a specific information from people in the trade of selling idols. The businessman possessed records like registration certificates which showed from whom he had purchased it but there was no record of where these idols were present prior to that.

Idols, especially those made of metal, have high demand in the international market and they are sold to customers abroad after they are stolen from temples, in most cases with the help of authorities.

The special wing of the CID has been successful in recovering a few hundred idols from the drawing rooms of several businessmen both inside and outside India.

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Lookout notice issued for bizman Ranvir Shah

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