CHENNAI: Based on intelligence inputs, officers of the Air Cargo Intelligence Unit (ACIU) intercepted an export consignment containing the Siva Lingam.
The Customs checked the invoice submitted with the consignment and the idol was said to have been purchased from an Arts and Crafts emporium in Kumbakonam. Officials grew suspicious after they found the non-antiquity certificate from ASI for the idol missing. It was later confirmed that the idol was sourced from an individual in Gedilam near Thirunavalur in the Kallakurichi district.
Upon visual examination, the brass idol appeared to be antique with indications of use. It is 36 cm in height weighing 4.56 kg. As the idol appeared to be antique, an experts’ team from Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) examined it and confirmed that the Siva Lingam dated back to the early 1800s.
The other items along with the idol that were part of the consignment were also seized under Customs Act, 1962 read with Antiquities Act, 1972. Further investigations are on.