Investigation revealed that the company was planning to sell the Vishnu idols for Rs 30 crore and the Sivan idol for Rs 50 crore, said the police, adding that the idols have been stolen from temples.
Based on a tip-off, Idol Wing police searched the Cottage Industries Exposition Ltd on Nungambakkam High Road and seized the Sivan idol. This led to inquires, after which the company’s branch in Thanjavur was searched. The Vishnu idols were seized from there.
A case was registered after the police found out that the owners of the company had kept the idols secretly only to show them to the genuine buyers from abroad.
The company was found to be in possession of four other idols, which the Archaeological Department said were suspected to be antique idols, but the company refused to hand them over.
Later, two of its staff members, S Anand of Tirunindravur and Venkatesan of Kumbakonam, were arrested and two more idols were seized from them. The duo was remanded in judicial custody.