A gold tiffin box and other antiques stolen from Nizam’s Museum in Hyderabad were recovered on Tuesday by Hyderabad police and two persons were arrested, Police Commissioner Anjani Kumar said on Tuesday.
The artefacts belonging to Mir Osman Ali Khan, the last Nizam of the erstwhile Hyderabad state were stolen from the Nizam Museum at Purani Haveli in the old city in the early hours of September 3.
Among the recovered items were a gold tiffin box studded with diamonds, a cup and saucer, and a spoon studded with rubies, diamonds and emeralds. The two robbers were tracked in Mumbai, where they were staying in a luxury hotel.
Interrogation of the accused revealed that one of them used the golden tiffin box weighing more than two kg for having food every day. “Interestingly, they have not made any attempt to sell the stolen goods, which would have fetched more than ₹50 crore in the international market for their antique value,” sources in the Hyderabad police said.
“We have arrested two persons who had resorted to theft and recovered the entire stolen property this morning,” Hyderabad police commissioner Anjani Kumar told HT.
The arrested were identified as Mohd Ghouse Pasha alias Khooni Ghouse (25), a construction labourer, and Mohammad Mubeen (24), welder, both relatives from Rajendranagar area.
The commissioner said 15 special teams were formed to probe the theft and track the whereabouts of the culprits.
The Nizam Museum, established in the year 2000, comprises more than 450 artefacts which were gifted to the seventh Nizam during the coronation of his silver jubilee in 1937. It also houses some other valuable objects belonging to his father Mir Mahboob Ali Khan, the sixth Nizam.
The museum is also home to Nizam’s cars including 1930 Rolls Royce, a 150-year-old manually operated lift and wardrobe of seventh Nizam, who was the richest man in the world in 1930s.
The police said burglars broke open the wooden ventilator of the museum and got into the hall using a rope. The closed circuit television camera (CCTV) near the ventilator, which was meant for keeping a surveillance on the museum shelves, appeared to be deliberately twisted to ensure that nothing was recorded.
However, the police recovered the footage from the CCTV cameras outside the museum, which showed two masked persons coming out of the adjacent building and riding a bike. The cops tried to track them down with the help of the mobile phone data collected from the nearby towers, as the pillion rider on the bike was found speaking on his mobile with someone.
A couple of days later, the police found an abandoned bike at Zaheerabad on Hyderabad-Mumbai highway. Subsequent enquiries in Mumbai led to the whereabouts of the two accused who were staying at a star hotel in Mumbai.