August 21, 2016 08:42 PM NPT
KATHMANDU, Aug 21: Nepal Police has arrested three members of a gang for their alleged involvement in stealing artifacts and antique idols from a temple in Naudobahal of Lalitpur district, three weeks after the items disappeared from the temple.
According to Metropolitan Police Range Office, Jawalakhel, the three arrested have been identified as Ganesh Bahadur Shrestha, 36, of Bhimkhori VDC-3 of Kavre district, Man Bahadur Magar, 53, from Gaunsara VDC-4 of Ramechhap district and Min Bahadur Khatri, aka Basudev Khatri, 46, of Lakuridanda VDC-4 of Dolakha District.
Of the three, Shrestha is said to be involved in stealing the artifacts, Magar in transporting them and Khatri selling the stolen items.
“Those arrested seem to belong to the second or the third layer of the crime ring involved in stealing invaluable idols. We have yet to identify the mastermind,” SSP Pitambar Adhikari, chief of Metropolitan Police Range Office, Lalitpur said.
The bag recovered from them contained 22 artifacts, including two statues believed to be around 400 years.
According to the police, they made a hole on the outside wall of the temple on July 25 and entered the premises and broke six locks to get those invaluable items.
Police said that they were able to steal those items after several attempts and were guided by other masterminds.
Police claimed that they have been questioning the three to get information on the masterminds behind the crime.
About two weeks back, police had arrested one with some other antique idols and artifacts as he was hauling them away in a sack.