MOSCOW, October 1 (RAPSI) – Law enforcement officers have arrested two suspects in the theft of an icon, altar cross and other values from the Valdai Iversky Monastery in Russia’s Novgorod Region, the Interior Ministry’s spokesperson Irina Volk has told RAPSI.

The theft was committed overnight into September 1. Two criminals touched upon the island by boat, tunneled their way under the gates, entered the ancient monastery and stole an altar cross, gold jewellery and the Iberian Mother of God presented by President Vladimir Putin in 2001, Volk said.

The arrested are men born in the Leningrad Region; one of them was earlier convicted of grave crimes, according to the police official representative.

During searches police found a part of stolen items including the icon and the cross hiddent in a garage of one of the suspects. All sacred objects will be returned to the monastery soon, Volk stated.