Police custody of fraud Kerala antique dealer extended till Oct 2

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Police custody of fraud Kerala antique dealer extended till Oct 2

Monson Mavunkal

Kochi: A court here on Thursday extended the police custody of now arrested fake antique dealer, Monson Mavunkal till October 2.

The 54-year-old was arrested by the Crime Branch police from his home cum museum, here on Saturday after victims approached Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan with their complaints that they were swindled of Rs 10 crore by this master 'fraud', who even took the top most Kerala Police officials for a ride.

Such was his proverbial 'gift of the gab' that those who are now in trouble include former state police chief Loknath Behra, serving additional director general of police Manoj Abraham, State Congress president K. Sudhakaran, former Chief Secretary Jiji Thompson, among others, who are all facing the music for their proximity with him.

Mavunkal 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".

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.

Presently under the custody of the Crime Branch, on Thursday the chief of it S. Sreejith arrived here to question him directly and he said that three cheating cases against Mavunkal have already been registered.

Mavunkal also has numerous high value vehicles which are parked in his house here, while a few vehicles of his, which includes a 2007 model Porsche Boxster registered in the name of actress Kareena Kapoor, is presently parked in a local police station at his home district Alappuzha.

Meanwhile according to sources in the know of things after questioning by the Crime Branch, Mavunkal has told the probe team he is completely broke and has no money left with him as he led a luxurious life and he requires a massive sum of money every month for meeting his expenses.

In a related development the name of an Italian settled Malayalee lady has also surfaced and her links with the police officials and Mavunkal have started to appear in the media.

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