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Heritage Furniture Theft: Crime Branch sends team to Mumbai

A carpenter named Sarfraz, resident of Baltana, was arrested on November 21. He disclosed that the furniture was stolen from the psychology department of Panjab University (PU).

Heritage Furniture Theft: Crime Branch sends team to Mumbai
(Representational Image)
SHARES

A team of Crime Branch was dispatched to Mumbai, on November 26, for arresting people involved in the theft of Chandigarh’s heritage furniture designed by French-Swiss architect Le Corbusier and Pierre Jeanneret.

A carpenter named Sarfraz, resident of Baltana, was arrested on November 21. He disclosed that the furniture was stolen from the psychology department of Panjab University (PU).

As per the reports, 24 chairs out of 48 stolen were recovered from Sarfraz by the police. Other 15 chairs were recovered from his two accomplices — Usha, alias Sweety and Naresh Mittal.

Sarfraz has revealed names and exact locations of people hiding in Mumbai, to whom Sarfraz used to supply the stolen furniture from Chandigarh and Panchkula said, officials. According to sources, the role of certain employees of PU is also under the scanner. The senior administration officials are taking a keen interest in the investigation of the theft case.

The police investigation also established that a local organised gang, headed by carpenter Sarfraz, is also involved in the theft of heritage furniture from Hisar district in Haryana and some parts of Punjab.

The heritage furniture dating back to the 17th century was stolen in these two states as well. This fact came to light during the interrogation of Sarfraz. However, sources said, the focus of Chandigarh Police is on UT heritage items.

Meanwhile, in February 2016, the Directorate of Revenue of Intelligence (DRI) had arrested a US-based Indian businessman, Vijay Nanda, for smuggling similar furniture designed by French architect Le Corbusier and his cousin Pierre Jeanneret out of the country. Nanda was arrested in Mumbai. The DRI investigation had revealed Nanda’s close links with a PCS officer, who was once posted as director of Chandigarh Museum from 2007 to 2011.

Though, this is the first time that a team of Chandigarh Police was sent to Mumbai for arresting the people involved in the heritage furniture theft.

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