|Idol & art thief Subhash Kapoor,.timesofindia.com|
|Intl.Indian art & idol smuggler. Subhash Kapoor, now in Puzhal prison in TN. chasingaphrodite.com|
Though more than 1200 idol theft cases are pending before the Judiciary courts in Tamil Nadu state less than 60 have been solved so far. The crux of the problem is once the idol is stolen, it keeps changing hands and places. Besides jurisdiction problems, for the tailing cops, the trail is so long, at the fag end they become fatigued and lose the last thread that may lead them to the culprits. So, Countless cases either go cold or remain unsolved due to loss of solid evidence or poor lead. In many cases, the kingpins of such operations remain Scott-free and as the punishment and investigations are not intense...(http://navrang1.rssing.com/chan-58541628/all_p58.html).
|Kapoor's loot. bharatkalyan97.blogspot.com|
Never did Kapoor realize that he had caused irreparable loss of India's cultural and religious legacy and one day he would run low on luck. It was on October 30, 2011, this high-flying Hindu idol thief then 62 years old, was nabbed at Frankfurt international airport, after Interpol issued a red corner alert. His arrest and later arraignment by the cops revealed his dark underworld smuggling activities and his nuances in this risky business of stealing of India's temple idols, etc and exporting to overseas country with a false record/certificate. Kapoor's story and his wheeling and dealing leading to his arrest in Germany has all the ingredients of a soap opera - greed, chasing money, love-affair, retribution, etc all rolled into one.
|ICE of the US. chasingaphrodite.com|
|US Customes officerJames T. Hayes chasingaphrodite.com|
Hayes mentioned about the detailed investigation into Kapoor's operations, dubbed Operation Hidden Idol, a history of his 4 decade clandestine artwork smuggling operation as a visible, high-profile Manhattan dealer who sold antiquated objects to museums around the world. Those include a staggering figure -more than 200 objects. The US Customs did not keep quiet and they asked the museums and buyers to contact them if they had bought or had dealings with Kapoor. ''We have already received several calls from law firms representing people who had acquired pieces through Kapoor and were concerned about whether they were in possession of stolen goods.” the officer said. ''Since 2007 about 6,600 artifacts have been returned to 24 countries''. .....“At the end of the day, our primary responsibility is to get stolen property back to its rightful owners.”
Very scant details are available about Subash Kapoor's romantic escapades with his ex-girl friend named Grace Paramaspry Punusamy. She was the daughter of a Tamil father and a Chinese mother and she sold Kapoor's artifacts on consignment basis. They began dating soon after they met in 1997 and later she, having gained his trust, became his business partner and created a chain of dealers and supplier in SE Asia. He began using her as a cover for 'provenance' paperwork. Grace became an adept in creating fake or falsified ownership records for the artifacts to help Kapoor sell them to reputed museums -- paperwork actually signed by Grace for his artifact. For some reasons their relationship in 2008 turned sour over her artwork shop in Singapore and the couple approached the Singapore Court for a settlement. The verdict went against Grace and later her place was taken over by another woman -Selina Mohamed.
|Subash Kapoor's ex-girl friend sent him to the slammer. rediff.com|
In the mean time Grace, driven by conscience and as a sort of reparation for her association with Kapoor, was aiding the Indian authorities in their pursuit to pin down Kapoor. She kept them posted by sending his photos and travel information. With Interpol in the fray, the cops made a quick move and arrested Kapoor at Flughafen Frankfurt am Main in 2012. (Please refer to S Vijay Kumar's book ''The Idol Thief'' - The True Story Of The Looting Of India's Temples: ; he explains Grace Punusamy' role and her connection with the arrest.
|2017. idols worth Rs.roo crore unearthed in Chennai, TNtimesofindia.indiatimes.com|
https://www.rediff.com/news/special/the-woman-who-nailed-the-idol-thief-/20180920.html (updtd Sept 20 2018)