The New York Times reports on last week’s arrest of another figure in the Indian antiquity smuggling case involving Subhash Kapoor who is now being held in India:
the district attorney’s office charged Mr. Kapoor’s sister, Sushma Sareen of Rockville Centre, N.Y., with hiding four bronze statues of Hindu deities, together valued at $14.5 million, so they could not be seized by the authorities. […]
The criminal complaint filed in Manhattan says Ms. Sareen took charge of her brother’s business operations after he was arrested and traveled to India to arrange for wire transfers and contact the smuggling network.
Ms. Sareen, 60, who is charged with four counts of criminal possession of stolen property, was released on $10,000 bail. Her lawyer, Scott E. Leemon of Manhattan, said that his client denied the charges. […]
Under India’s Antiquities and Art Treasures Act, no art object more than 100 years old may be removed from the country. But in the decades since the law was instituted in 1972, antiques from several Indian temples and heritage sites have been auctioned in New York and London.
Ms. Sareen is accused of hiding two bronze statues of the deity Shiva and two of the goddess Uma. They were displayed in Mr. Kapoor’s sales catalogs from 2010 and 2011, officials say, and have been listed as stolen by officials in India. The complaint says the Shivas are valued at $5 million and $3.5 million, and the Umas at $3.5 million and $2.5 million.
At least two other stolen statues tied to Mr. Kapoor have been traced to museums in Australia, and Indian authorities have demanded their return. One piece similar to those missing in New York was sold for $5 million to the National Gallery in Australia, which told Indian officials it is reviewing their request.
New Arrest in Inquiry on Looting (New York Times)