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Thursday, 31 July 2014

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Police appeal for owners of valuable South Asian jewellery

THE Metropolitan Police Service is appealing for owners to claim high-value south Asian jewellery and ornaments seized during an investigation into stolen goods.

A jewel-encrusted gold ring in the shape of an owl, a statuette of the elephant-headed Hindu god Ganesha - possibly made of silver or platinum - and coins featuring Hindu images are among the haul recovered by the MPS's Operation Maxim at addresses in London. It is believed the items were stolen from homes across the UK.

Officers have published pictures of 43 items on Flickr. These can be seen at www.flickr.com/metropolitanpolice

Operation Maxim's Detective Sergeant Ian Gibson, who is leading the investigation, said: "Many of these items are unique. Some feature engravings of names and what we believe is Hindi script. There are a number of items, featuring Hindu and other religious imagery.

"Given the unique nature of these items, we suspect that they are family heirlooms or ceremonial pieces, and that they will hold sentimental value for the owners.

"We are very keen to return these items which we believe have been taken from homes across the UK. We would urge anyone who has had something like this stolen to look at the photos, even if they have never lived in London, or have moved away from the capital."

Anyone who recognises their stolen goods is asked to email MaximAppeal@met.police.uk or call DS Ian Gibson on 020 8649 3980. They can also leave a voice message. They should provide the unique reference number that accompanies the photo and their name, address, telephone number and email address, if they have one.

On 19 September 2012 officers executed search warrants at two addresses: one in Streatham and one in Southwark. A large quantity of valuables, including the items above, were recovered. A 49-year-old man was arrested at the address in Streatham. Another 49-year-old was arrested on UKBA property in Southwark on 28 September. Both were arrested on suspicion of handling stolen goods and bailed to return to a south London police station later this month.

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