New York: After nearly 15 years of investigation, the US has returned 307 antiquities to India that were stolen or smuggled out of the country.

The value of these items is 4 million US dollars. Most of these items were recovered from notorious businessman Subhash Kapoor. He is currently lodged in the jail.

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg announced the return of 307 antiques to India.

Bragg said 235 of these items were seized in a raid conducted by the Attorney’s Office. Subhash Kapoor “helps smuggle goods from Afghanistan, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Thailand and other countries,” officials said.

Among the antiques being returned is the statue of Vishnu and Lakshmi along with garun, which is said to be from the 11th century AD.

The office of the district attorney (DA) had issued an arrest warrant for Subhash Kapoor in 2012 and in November 2019, Kapoor and his seven co-defendants were charged for conspiring to smuggle stolen antiques.

US returned 157 old items last year

Last year too, the US had returned 157 antiques during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the US. Both PM Modi and US President Joe Biden had committed to “strengthening their efforts to combat the theft, illegal trade and smuggling of cultural goods”.

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