Fake antique dealer case: Statement of Italy based Kerala lady recorded

Thiruvananthapuram, Oct 21 (IANS): The Crime Branch police probing the case of the fake antique dealer Monson Mavunkal has taken the statement from Anitha Pullayil, the high profile Kerala lady settled in Italy.

According to sources, the probe team contacted her and took her statement by video conferencing.

Eyebrows were raised ever since the name of Anitha started taking the rounds after 54-year-old Kochi resident Monson Mavunkal was arrested by the Crime Branch police from his home-cum-museum, last month after victims approached Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan with their complaints that they were swindled of Rs 10 crore by this 'master fraud', who managed to even take the top most Kerala Police officials for a ride.

Anitha, whose number of pictures with Mavunkal hogging the attention have surfaced, is also seen in the company of none other than Vijayan and former DGP Loknath Behra, among others.

Anitha is based in Italy but hails from Trissur and took the route of the Loka Kerala Sabha (LKS) and became close to not just Behra, but also to Mavunkal and numerous other bigwigs.

LKS is a global meet of Keralite diaspora settled outside Kerala and it was first launched by the Vijayan government in 2018 and the second edition was held in January 2020.

When her name was dragged in, she came live on TV news channels and said that she is more of a social person engaged in charity works and helping people and she will cooperate with the police and that's what she did in the video conference, where she has disclosed all what she knew about Mavunkal.

Incidentally, there are reports that while the two were good friends and she is understood to have told the police that it was after knowing that Mavunkal was a fraud, she ended her friendship 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.

Mavunkal is presently under judicial custody and on October 19, the local police registered a case against him under POCSO charges after a 17-year-old girl complained of violating her.



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