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Thieves Dig Tunnel Under Mumbai Luxury Hotel, Steal 10-Ft Statue of Roman Warrior

Police have arrested two members of the Pawai Pathan gang and recovered the stolen statue worth around Rs 7 lakh. (AFP/representational photo)

Police have arrested two members of the Pawai Pathan gang and recovered the stolen statue worth around Rs 7 lakh. (AFP/representational photo)

The pieces of Rs 7 lakh worth statue found in a jungle near of the Aarey Colony.

Thieves of the Pawai Pathan gang broke into Imperial Palace, a luxury hotel at Royal Palm falling under the Aarey police station in Mumbai. The thieves dug a tunnel to reach the hotel.

Police have arrested two members of the Pawai Pathan gang and recovered the stolen statue worth around Rs 7 lakh, made in Italy. The thieves had cut the statue into pieces after they stole it from the hotel by digging a tunnel at the back wall of the hotel. They were planning to sell the statue by hiding their pieces in the jungle of the Aarey Colony.

On October 12, the hotel authorities found that the 10 feet brass statue of a Roman warrior was suddenly missing. Police registered the case and started the investigation. The senior police inspector Jyoti Desai constituted a team of officers of the Aarey police station to investigate the incident. API Kholam’s team started investigating the incident under the direction of Jyoti Desai. From the CCTV footage, it was found that the statue had been dragged to the backyard of the hotel in the jungle.

The police found some broken pieces of the statue in the Bungda jungle of Aarey Colony. Then police recovered several pieces of the 300 kg statue from the nearby area in the jungle. The thieves had taken some pieces to Kurla Chor Bazar to sell them. The shopkeeper informed this piece of information to the police after they found some pieces from the Kurla area.

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When the thieves were trying to carry the statue to Kurla market from the jungle, the police apprehended them. The security in-charge of the Imperial Hotel Shivkumar Sundarraj told the police that the hotel was closed during the lockdown and lots of theft were committed during that period and they are taking stock of the items. On many occasions, thieves took away bronze statues, imported decorative items and chandeliers and left them in the jungle. During this period, a tunnel at the back wall of the hotel had come to light.

Jyoti Desai, the senior inspector of the police, said that the accused is named Ismail Sheikh (21) and Jalal Salim Sheikh (21) are part of the Pawai Pathan gang. One of the two arrested is the nephew of Pathan.

(This story has been updated to correct an unintended typo. News18 apologises for the error.)

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first published:October 20, 2021, 17:48 IST