Complainants against fake antique dealer Mavunkal seek CBI probe

Days after the Kerala Police’s Crime Branch gave a clean chit to police officials who were allegedly close to fake antique dealer Monson Mavunkal, the complainants approached Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Saturday, seeking a CBI investigation as they expressed doubts on the present probe’s outcome.

It was only when the same set of people, cheated to the tune of Rs 10 crore by Mavunkal, approached Vijayan in September last year, that the scam he was running was busted and eventually led to his arrest.

When the case first surfaced in September, pictures of now retired state police chief Loknath Behra and serving Additional Director General of Police Manoj Abraham visiting the “museum” of Mavunkal at Kochi went viral.

As the matter went before the court, it asked how come these top police officials never thought of how a museum like this can function as the rules are very clear and also sought to know why the police set up a daily beat box at his house and the museum.

Mavunkal used to bring several VIPs to his palatial residence, a part of which was converted into a museum to house his ‘precious’ antiques, which he claimed included the “staff of Moses” and “two of the 30 silver coins that were taken by Judas to cheat Jesus Christ”.

Police said that he also displayed a throne said to be used by Tipu Sultan, as well as a huge collection of old Qurans, Bibles (Old Testament and New Testament), and old handwritten copies of Bhagavad Gita.

Mavunkal, since his arrest, continues to be in judicial custody.

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