Police Commissioner Anjani Kumar along with a senior police officer shows to media the three-tier golden tiffin box and a golden cup after their recovery, in Hyderabad, Tuesday, Sep 11, 2018.
Hyderabad: Hyderabad city police cracked the case of theft of a priceless antique from Nizam’s Museum with the arrest of two burglars and recovered the stolen gold tiffin box and tea cup along with spoon from them.
Police Commissioner Anjani Kumar said Mohammad Ghouse Pasha alias Khooni Ghouse and Mohammad Mubeen were arrested in a joint operation by the South Zone police and the commissioner’s task force.
The duo had entered the museum at Purani Haveli palace in the Old City in the early hours of September 3 and stole the two artefacts belonging to the last Nizam Mir Osman Ali Khan valued at Rs500 million (Dh25.2 million) in the international market. One of them used the stolen tiffin box for eating food during last one week when they stayed at a five-star hotel in Mumbai, Kumar said.
“After committing the theft they had escaped to Mumbai and stayed in a five-star hotel. They tried to sell the goods but could not succeed. Our teams traced them to Mumbai and arrested them,” he said.
The police produced the two men before the media.
The tiffin box made of gold and studded with diamonds and gems along with the tea cup and spoons were also shown to the media at the crowded press conference.
“The two had under taken reconnaissance of the museum and visited the place many times before committing the theft,” Kumar said.
While Ghouse Pasha was reportedly a habitual offender and was involved in 25 cases of theft, Mubeen worked in Gulf for sometime and also underwent imprisonment in connection with an offence, he added.
After the sensational theft came to light, the commissioner had formed 20 special teams to arrest the culprits. In the absence of substantial clues, the teams worked painstakingly and succeeded in cracking the case, he said pointing out that the police only had a 15-second blurry footage of CCTV camera of a mosque outside the museum.
The footage shows the two youth coming out of the museum lane and leaving on a motor cycle. Based on the images the detectives worked and traced them, the commissioner added.
The burglars had entered the museum from the adjacent building and broke into the first floor gallery through a ventilator. They used a rope to climb down and after breaking the showcase took away only the two most expensive items. They had also turned away the CCTV camera from the show case to avoid detection. Three private security guards were on duty during the night, but they had no clue about the break-in and theft as the doors were shut from outside. The two artefact were among 450-odd gifts presented to the Nizam by his subjects in 1937 on the occasion of the silver jubilee of ascending the throne of Hyderabad. The priceless collection was on display at the Nizam’s Museum of HEH Nizam Silver Jubilee Pavillion Trust since 2000.