Noida: Man held with antique coins believed to be over 2,000 years old
The antiques date back to the Gupta dynasty, pre-Gupta dynasty and the pre-Mughal era.
A 52-year-old man was arrested with antique coins, believed to be nearly 2,000 years old, and other artefacts from Phase 3 area of Noida on Thursday afternoon. The accused had smuggled the coins from Aron area of Sagar district of Madhya Pradesh and was on his way to Delhi.
Police said the accused, identified as Sham Singh, a resident of Mathura, was in contact with a dealer based in Old Delhi who would later smuggle these items to foreign countries and sell them at a high price. The gang would sell them for display in private museums, police said.
Deputy Superintendent of police (STF), Raj Kumar Mishra, said, ”The antiques date back to the Gupta dynasty, pre-Gupta dynasty and the pre-Mughal era. We could not ascertain their antiquity accurately and have contacted the officials of the Archaeological Survey of India, who certified the items. They informed us that some of the items were nearly 2,000 years old.”
Sham Singh is popularly known as ‘doctor’ and he was arrested in 1999 from Alwar, Rajasthan; in 2009 from Bihar and in March 2017 from Banaras. He would come out on bail and restart his smuggling business, police said.
Mishra said since Madhya Pradesh was home to the Gupta Dynasty, Sham Singh had made contacts in Aron. He conducted a recee of the area and got to know that many people have antique coins and utensils in their possession.
“Based on a tip-off, the suspect was arrested from Mamura Chowk in Phase 3 area. A team of the directorate of revenue Intelligence was also with us,” Mishra said.
Sham Singh was involved in smuggling for the last 20 years, police said.