An eight-member team led by Deputy Superintendent of Police Sundaram raided the premises located in Poes Garden, in the afternoon. Manickavel joined them in the evening.
The lawns of the guest house were manually dug up and two old temple pillars were found buried. The guest house belongs to KCP Sugar & Industries Corporation Ltd, which has Ranvir Shah listed as an Independent Director. The MD & CEO of KCP Sugar is Irmgard Velagapudi M Rao. Her daughter Kiran Rao, owner of Amethyst Cafe is Executive Director on the KCP board.
The Idol Wing officers started digging in the presence of a senior executive of the KCP group. They said that the raid would resume on Saturday and the rest of the lawn would be dug with the help of an earthmover. Sources said that at least 20 such stone carvings have been buried under lawns of the guest house. Members of the team at the site added that they believed the pillars had been buried recently, as the top soil was loose. This is a follow-up to searches and seizures carried out in the premises of businessman Ranvir Shah.
As part of their investigations, the Idol Wing team spoke to former employee of Amethyst Cafe who was jailed for blackmailing owner Kiran Rao. The accused, T Renit Tyson (24) of Kolathur, quit as manager from Amethyst, Whites Road four months ago. Kiran lodged a complaint that she received calls from anonymous numbers demanding Rs 60 lakhs.
The Anna Salai police registered a case and traced the call to Renit Tyson. Sources claim that Renit alleged he had video footage of artefacts being moved out of the café and a policeman reportedly erased all the videos in the phone before arresting him and sending him to jail.
Meanwhile, Shah sent his advocate requesting time as he was in North India to perform rituals for his deceased father, and said he would appear for an inquiry early next week.
Sept 26: Businessman-socialite Ranvir Shah’s residence in Saidapet raided, nearly 90 antique artefacts, including panchaloha idols seized
Oct 2: Two farmhouses belonging to Shah searched, over 200 idols seized. IG issues ultimatum, calls for voluntary return of illegal artefacts
Oct 4: Idol Wing issues look-out circular for Ranvir Shah
Oct 5: Raids carried out at KCP Sugars guest house, search for buried idols to continue on Oct 6