The Hyderabad Heist
3 September 2018. Citizens of India woke up to the sensational news of a multimillion-dollar theft in the Nizam’s Museum, Hyderabad. The theft of a diamond-studded, intricately designed gold box and other artifacts speckled with emeralds and rubies caused a national and international sensation. This was no ordinary burglary. It was an assault on the heritage and culture of the people of Hyderabad and India.
Prince Muffakham Jah of Hyderabad, who was in London at that time, personally requested the Commissioner of Police, Mr Anjani Kumar, to investigate the case on priority. Hundreds of police officers were pressed into action to recover the stolen objets d’art. Unfortunately for them, the thieves had been smart and left little evidence behind them. Most clues that the police uncovered during the investigation led to more confusion rather than any conclusion.
The Commissioner personally led an elite team to investigate this theft and recover the items. He knew that recovering the stolen assets would be a challenging proposition, given that, historically, hardly any items stolen from museums across the world had ever been recovered. The Hyderabad Heist is the story of how the Hyderabad Police worked diligently, made the most out of the little evidence available, and raced against time to recover the artifacts before these could be smuggled abroad and be lost forever.
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