Kerala fraud antique dealer is broke, has just Rs 176 with him


The 54-year-old Monson Mavunkal, who took all his high profile guests into his fold by showcasing antiques in his collection which he claimed included the “staff of Moses” and “two of the 30 silver coins that were taken by Judas to cheat Jesus Christ” and many more, has revealed to the Crime Branch police that he is broke and has nothing with him.

Consequent to his admission, creditors who gave him money as advance which according to those in the know of things is about Rs 12 crore, will find it difficult to get anything from him, as he not only said that he has just around Rs 176 in his bank account and has no assets also.

Last month he was arrested by the Crime Branch after six people complained of cheating to the tune of over Rs 6 crore and he continues to be in the custody of the Crime Branch police who is questioning him.

After detailed questioning by the Crime Branch, according to a source, they have now asked the Registration department and also banks to inform them if there is any property or cash in his name in Kerala.

Meanwhile, the Income Tax department is also now looking into what Mavunkal was up to and is also tracing the track record of those who lent him huge sums of money.

Police said that he had showcased these “rare” items — 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 used to bring several VIPs to his palatial residence, a part of which was converted into museum to house his ‘precious’ antiques.

Also in the dock are former State Police Chief Loknath Behra who retired recently and serving additional director general of police Manoj Abraham as their pictures, seen in the company of the master fraud examining his ‘rare’ collection of antiques, became viral.

Incidentally, the Kerala high court also asked about the sanctity of the ongoing Crime Branch police probe after the pictures surfaced.

Mavunkal is presently being questioned by the top Crime Branch police officials in the state capital and his bail custody is ending early next week. Meanwhile he has also moved for bail, though the high court, the other day rejected it.

What is to be noted is that Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has not met the media ever since Mavunkal was arrested last month and the Congress and the BJP have asked Vijayan to break his silence.

The Congress party is unable to go in full steam attacking the Vijayan government on this issue because, new State Congress president K. Sudhakaran had visited Mavunkal, who cheated many by saying he was a qualified cosmetologist.

With the new assembly session presently on and this issue being raised by the opposition once, all eyes are on the coming days, if any new revelation on this case is expected, as there are reports that something is in the offing.