By Neel Anil Panicker
“See these statues, pure gold, ancient Gandhara civilisation, at least 20,00 years old. Each one ten million. All dollars. No bargaining.”
The foreigner squinted his eyes as the afternoon sun shone bright on the hilly terrain, its harsh rays dashing against the rocky mouth of the cave where the two stood.
‘Alright but how I do take them out of the country?’
The man they called the ‘Smuggling King of East India’ looked askance at the white man, as if highly offended by the question.
“You’re dealing with Khan, Amananullah Khan. What I do is family business. Been smuggling artifacts since the time you were a kid in half pants. You have nothing to worry. Just tell me where you want this handed over?”
The foreigner dug a dirty fingernail into his pock marked nose.
‘I am leaving for Dubai tomorrow morning. From there I have a connecting flight to Frankfurt via Lufthansa.’
“Then it’s settled. My man will check in with you at Dubai and handover the statues at Frankfurt. Thereafter, it’s your baby. And now, my money. Quick, I have other deals to do”.
‘Before that you need to check into Tihar Jail, my friend. You are now under the custody of James Evans Anderson, South Asia chief of Global Anti-Smuggling Operations, INTERPOL.’
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