Indian American Art Dealer Palmed Off Stolen Indian Artifacts

Tuesday, 31 December 2013, 13:19 Hrs
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New York: The indictment of the girlfriend of Manhattan's Indian American antiquities dealer Subhash Kapoor has revealed the fake ownership histories of stolen Indian artefacts palmed off to museums across the world.

The Manhattan District Attorney's Office has criminally charged Kapoor's girlfriend Selina Mohamed with participating in a decades-long conspiracy to launder stolen antiquities by creating false ownership histories.

She is also charged with, more recently, helping to hide four stolen bronze sculptures as investigators closed in on Kapoor, according to, a specialised art website tracking "looted antiquities in the world's Museums".

Kapoor, described by federal investigators as one of the most prolific antiquities smugglers in the world, is now in custody in Chennai, where he is facing trial as the alleged mastermind of an international antiquities' smuggling ring, according to the website.

Selina Mohamed, who was arrested last Friday, was charged with four counts of criminal possession of stolen property and one count of conspiracy, court records show.

She is the third person criminally charged in the case, following the indictments of Kapoor's sister Sushma Sareen and gallery manager Aaron Freedman, who pleaded guilty to six criminal counts earlier this month.

There is also an arrest warrant out for Kapoor.

Prosecutors allege that since 1992 Mohamed has been involved in the fabrication of bogus ownership histories for dozens of objects Kapoor sold to museums around the world.

Since 2007, she also had nominal control over several of Kapoor's storage facilities.

The possession charges relate to Mohamed's alleged role in the disappearance of four of Kapoor's stolen bronze sculptures - two of Shiva and two of Uma - valued at $14.5 million.

Kapoor instructed his gallery manager to send the Chola-era bronzes to Mohamed's house in November 2011, the complaint states.

Read Also: U.S. Officials Made A Mistake In Khobragade's Arrest:Lawyer and New Indian Envoy Arrives In U.S., Efforts Pick Up To Defuse Row

Source: IANS
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