DRI arrests Antique smuggler
Mumbai - Based on a specific intelligence, the residence of Mr. Vijay Nanda, an American businessman of Indian Origin was searched at Girgaon Chowpatty on 6 February 2017 by officers of Directorate Of Revenue Intelligence (DRI), Mumbai Zonal Unit. Further, his godowns located in Byculla were also searched. These coordinated searches resulted in the recovery of several antiques and artifacts for which Nanda had no legal documentation or registration with the Archeological Survey of India as an antique dealer.
The search of his house resulted in the recovery of various figurines and stone sculptures. These include “Terracotta figurines” from 1st Century A.D., bronze figurines of “Mahishasura Mardhini” and “Ganesha”, all dating from the 17th and 18th Century.
It appeared the Nanda had arrived in India a few days earlier to make arrangements to smuggle the statues stored in the crates. Vijay Nanda is a prime player in the international art smuggling syndicate with extensive connections in the US, Europe, and Hongkong.
Indian antiques and artifacts command great value in International markets and are highly sought after by art galleries and private collectors.
Directorate of Revenue intelligence is committed to fighting such attempts to loot India’s valuable cultural heritage and has been at the forefront of detecting and thwarting art fraud across the world.