India’s anti-smuggling agency, Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI), has seized antiques and historical artefacts with an estimated value of over 3.2 million dollars, officials said on Tuesday.
The seizure was made at the Mundra Port in India’s western state of Gujarat, in an operation, as part of the agency’s persistent efforts to protect global cultural heritage, officials said.
“DRI has seized vintage articles, antiques and historical artefacts, estimated to be valued at over 3.2 million U.S. dollars in the market, from an import consignment,’’ the Federal Ministry of Finance said in a statement.
The operation was carried out on a tipoff and involved an import container being shipped from the United Arab Emirates, which was declared before customs as unaccompanied baggage and personal effects.
“During examination, the container was found to be containing old statues, vintage utensils, paintings, antique furniture and other valuable heritage goods.
“Some of the articles date back to the 19th Century.
“Several of the articles were made of precious stones, gold and silver or were having gold/silver coating,’’ the ministry said.
Officials said the majority of the objects seized were from European countries, especially Britain and the Netherlands.
“The consignment was highly undervalued to evade customs duty.
“Such items have huge demand in the illicit market,’’ the ministry added.