Pune-based businessman Hasan Ali Khan, who was taken into custody in March for suspected money laundering, has now been booked by the Andhra Pradesh Police for allegedly stealing and selling antiques belonging to the erstwhile Nizams of Hyderabad.
The latest case against Khan was registered based on his confessions before the Enforcement Directorate, the police said.
"Investigations are underway," city police commissioner AK Khan said.
Four of his aides, including Nasir Baig, erstwhile custodian of the city's famous Salar Jung Museum, were also booked on charges of criminal breach of trust, cheating, theft, criminal conspiracy, and smuggling and fraudulently dealing in antiquities, the police said.
According to the police, Khan had confessed to conniving with Baig to steal antiques belonging to the family of the Nizams, the native sovereigns of the erstwhile Hyderabad state.
Baig was the custodian of the museum in 1992 and through him Khan collected the antiques and sold them, with the help of his aides, for more than Rs 50 lakh, the police said.
However, museum authorities denied Baig ever worked at Salar Jung. They also said the museum, which was established in 1951, did not store or display antiques belonging to the Nizams.
"The museum only displays the artifacts collected over the years by Salar Jung, the then prime minister of the Nizam," museum director Narender Reddy said.
Khan is suspected to have stashed away around $8 billion in Swiss bank accounts, transferred cash and assets out of the country through dubious means, and evaded taxes on income with a suspected liability of over Rs 40,000 crore.