Police investigating GTA chairman Bhupendra Pradhan’s role on smuggling antique coins

Police officers in Siliguri today said they were trying to find out GTA chairman Bhupendra Pradhan’s role in an alleged deal to sell a supposedly antique East India Company coin to a Jalpaiguri resident, who said the article was a fake and he had been cheated.

GTA chairman Bhupendra Pradhan
GTA chairman Bhupendra Pradhan

On Tuesday night, Pradhan, better known to his followers as Pradip, was arrested along with Sachin Biswakarama and Sanjib Maitra as well as eight others in the case.

Biswakarama and Maitra, the duo who had struck the deal of Rs 13 lakh with Jalpaiguri resident Ravi Kithania in exchange for a supposedly antique East India Company coin, are also being checked.

The two youths – Biswakarma and Maitra are from Gorubathan and Siliguri respectively – tried to sell the coin to Kithania but his friend intervened saying it was a fake. The 11 persons were arrested from a hotel at Darjeeling More after Kithania filed a police complaint.

“The arrest of Pradip Pradhan is definitely important. We are trying to find out whether he deals in such antique coins and other items because both Sachin and Sanjib had introduced him and eight others as their associates,” a senior police officer said. “We are trying to know the antecedents of the duo who had finalised the deal.”

A police officer said: “We will definitely consult experts to get details on the coin. The Nepal and Bhutan borders are known to be transit routes of smuggled antique items to international markets. We are trying to find out whether these people have links any national or international antique smuggling racket. There is a chance that they might be selling fake antique coins. There are rackets which cheat people by selling fake items as antiques,” the officer said. “These people might have links with such cheats.”

Source: GTA

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