Six arrested for bid to burgle Goa museum
MUMBAI: The police arrested six men who had planned to steal antiques from an archaeological museum in Goa.
The accused had clicked photographs of the furniture in the museum using their cellphones and showed it to prospective buyers in Mumbai. The western region special squad arrested five accused-Krishna Ray (24), Bholanath Prajapati (23), Majid Khan (25), Amjad Qureshi (28) and Rahul Vaisha (22)-when in Khar where they planned a burglary on Wednesday. Two firearms and bullets have been recovered from the accused.
The gang leader, Sher Ali Khan (28), was arrested on March 8. The accused confessed that they had stolen antiques from bungalows in Goa since the last few years and sold them in Mumbai.
Sher Ali's relative owned a furniture shop in Oshiwara, where the antiques would be spruced up before they were sold off. When the gang visited Goa they would check in at hotels and conduct a recce of old bungalows, for which they would hire bikes locally.
The accused would home in on large bungalows that had been locked. After they gathered information on the furniture, they would commit the burglary at night, the police said. "They may have some accomplices in Goa who helped them commit the burglary. The accused stored the stolen goods at a temporary location in Goa before transporting it to Mumbai," said a senior police officer.
"The accused got a good price for old furniture in the city. Recently, they had sold a table for Rs 1.5 lakh to a shopkeeper," he added.
The police are trying to find out about the burglaries that the gang committed in Mumbai and Goa. "We have asked the Goa police about cases where furniture and fixtures have been stolen," said a police officer.
Goa police are in touch with Mumbai police to verify if the arrested accused were involved in Goa's biggest robbery, in which antique items valued at crores of rupees was stolen from the Museum of Christian Art on January 25. The museum's security guard was also killed during the robbery.
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