Fake antique dealer arrested in Kochi for fraud

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Thiruvananthapuram, Sept. 26 (IANS) A Kerala Criminal Police team arrested counterfeit Kochi antique dealer Monson Mavunkal on Sunday for tricking several people into Rs 10 crore.

Police said he used to collect money from gullible people and stated that he had a huge amount of money in a foreign bank, but he needed some money to retrieve it as it was stuck due to some technical glitch.

Mavunkal, who acted as the middleman in the financing of films, claimed he had sold antiques to the Sultan of Brunei and the UAE royals and was to receive an amount of Rs 2.62,000 crore in his bank account.

The Kochi Criminal Police officer who led the police team to arrest the art dealer told media representatives, “We arrested Monson Mavungal. There are many discrepancies between what he said and reality. His claims are all being checked and we have to see if he cheated on any more people. “

Mavunkal claimed he had the staff of Moses and two of the 30 silver coins Judas took to deceive Jesus Christ.

Police said he had these “rare” items on display, a throne allegedly used by Tipu Sultan, as well as a huge collection of ancient Korans, Bibles (Old and New Testaments) and old handwritten copies of the Bhagavad Gita.

Mavunkal used to bring several VIPs to his palatial residence, part of which has been converted into a museum to house his “precious” antiques.

Police sources said he had raised more money than was revealed openly, and since most of those who gave him money had “black money” or unproven money, he expected them not to complain to the police would .

Antiques industry officials told IANS, on condition of anonymity, that they had filed several complaints that he was selling counterfeit antiques and that this had also diminished their image with buyers, “but nothing happened because of his good contacts.” .

Mavunkal’s arrest followed a complaint from Yakoob Khan and four of his associates who had sent him 10 billion rupees.

A senior Kerala police officer who refused to be named told IANS that the dealer has connections and the police entertain him, “but we cannot take action unless a written complaint is filed, which unfortunately has not yet been done The first complaint was filed and we acted immediately. I do not want to be named because this is our duty and I do not know whether he was protected from any superiors in politics or the police. “

Meanwhile, police sources said he did not have any valuable processions and that most of his wooden collections were carved by a cabinet maker from Cherthala.

–IANS

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