Navsari, Jan 2: Five individuals have been arrested in connection with the theft of 199 gold coins from a heritage house at Bilimora in Gujarat’s Navsari district.
- The coins, featuring the image of King George V and dating back to 1922, were discovered during the demolition of the house owned by Hawaben Balia, an NRI living in Leicester, the UK.
The police action came after Balia lodged a complaint on October 21 last year, alleging theft from her ancestral property on Bazaar Street in Bilimora.
Following investigation, the police arrested four labourers and one contractor from Valsad on December 26.
All the five accused have been remanded to police custody until January 3.
The accused have been charged under the relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), including criminal breach of trust.
They have reportedly confessed to stealing the coins during the demolition process.
The recovered gold coins have a current market valuation of approximately Rs 92 lakh.
However, the case took another twist when four policemen from Madhya Pradesh were also arrested following a complaint lodged by one of the arrested labourers, who alleged that they also looted some of the gold coins.
Navsari police are now seeking court’s permission to interrogate the Madhya Pradesh police personnel to recover the remaining coins.
The police are also consulting the Archaeological Survey of India and the Gujarat government to clarify the historical significance of the coins and the legal implications of the findings.