Thiruvananthapuram, Sept 26 (BPNS)
Special team of the Kerala police Crime branch cell, arrested a fake antique dealer, Monson Mavunkal on Sunday at Kochi . He was arrested for swindling an amount of Rs 10 crore from several persons. Mavunkal who has acted as a middle man in financing movies has claimed that he had sold antiques to the King of Brueni and UAE royals and that he is to receive an amount of Rs 2,62,000 crore in his bank account.
Police said that Monson used to collect money from gullible people stating that he had huge money in a foreign bank but he need some money to retrieve it as the money was not released due to some technical glitches.
There are complaints that he used to give good money as donations to individuals and charitable organisations to bring a clean image for him.
He had claimed that he was having in his procession the stick of Moses and that of the 30 silver coins that were taken by Judas to cheat Jesus Christ, 2 were in his procession.
Police said that he had showcased these rare items and a throne said to be used by Tipu Sultan. A huge collection of old Quran, Bible (Old Testament and New Testament ), and old handwritten copies of Bhagavad Gita was in his place. He had also brought in several VIP’s to his palatial residence, a part of which was converted into museum to house his ‘precious’ antiques.
Sources in the police said that he had collected huge money than what has come out in the open and as most of those who had given money to him were holding ‘black money’ or unaccounted money, Monson expected that they would not complain to the police.
Those in the antique dealing industry who does not want to be named told IANS, “We had lodged several complaints that he was selling fake antiques and that this would have diminished our image also among the buyers. However due to his high contacts, nothing happened to him.”
The arrest is following complaint filed by one Yakoob Khan and four of his associates who had transferred 10 crore to him.
A senior officer of the Kerala Police while speaking on anonymity told IANS,” He had huge connections and Police were tracing him but we could not take action unless a written complaint is lodged which unfortunately was not given. This is the first complaint and we immediately took action. I don’t want to be named as this is our duty and I don’t know whether he was protected from some higher-ups in politics or police.”
Monson had also shot several Youtube videos and allowed many popular bloggers and YouTubers to visit his place and share the video of his collection.
Police sources said that he did not have any prized processions and most of the wooden collections he had were carved by a carpenter from Cherthala.
Deputy Superintendent of Police, Crime Branch, Kochi who led the team of police officers to arrest the fake art dealer while speaking to media persons said, “We have arrested Monson Mavungal. There are lot of discrepancies between his statement and reality. His claims are all being verified and we have to ascertain whether he has cheated more people.”
Police said that they will be producing him before a magistrate court soon.