Antiques worth crores of rupees were seized by the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) from a shipping container that docked at Container Freight Station (CFS) in Mundra Port.
The container that originated from the UAE, carried among other things, antique idols and paintings estimated to be worth Rs 26.80 crore.
According to a press release by the DRI, based on privately received information, the agency identified a container that was imported from Jebel Ali, UAE, at Mundra’s CFS. The container was categorised as “unaccompanied baggage for personal effects” and underwent a detailed inspection before customs.
During the investigation, the container was found to contain old idols, vintage utensils, paintings, antique furniture, and other valuable heritage items. Some of these articles date back to the 19th century, and some are made of precious stones, gold, silver, or gold-silver coating.
One of the artworks, ‘The Harem Guard,’ created by Georges de Geetere in Belgium, dates back to 1885. Its approximate value is estimated to be in the range of $20,000 to $30,000.
Most of the seized items originate from European countries, particularly the UK and the Netherlands. The consignment value was understated to evade customs duties. There is a significant demand for such items in the illegal market, prompting further investigation by the relevant authorities.