September 29, 2021 9:34:32 pm
More allegations of cheating and intimidation have tumbled out against Monson Mavunkal, a self-styled antique collector, whose arrest and exploits have astounded Kerala.
Mavunkal, 52, was arrested by the Crime Branch of the Kerala Police on September 26 on charges of committing financial fraud by claiming ownership of centuries-old historical artefacts and relics. Preliminary police probe has found that most items are cheap knockoffs produced by local carpenters. He was sent to three days of police custody.
While the arrest of Mavunkal was recorded on the basis of a joint complaint by six persons who accuse him of defrauding them of Rs 10 crore, prior complaints against him have now come to the fore.
Allegations of blackmailing
In March this year, a sexual abuse survivor had filed a complaint against Mavunkal for blackmailing her to withdraw a case registered against the latter’s family friend. Mavunkal, she alleged, threatened to publicise photos and videos of the abuse if she did not withdraw the rape complaint. He also allegedly used his influence over prominent persons to blackmail her family over the phone.
Misuse of a TV channel brand
The owner of the television channel ‘Samskara TV’ has filed a complaint with the state police chief, alleging that Mavunkal misused their brand name and incorrectly claimed to be the chairman of the company on social media platforms. The owner, Babu Madhavan, alleged that Mavunkal was an associate of Hariprasad S, who used to be the managing director of the company before he was removed for cheating shareholders. The complaint said that Mavunkal should be investigated for his role in the cheating case.
Misuse of staff’s bank account
Ajith, a former driver of Mavunkal, told Mathrubhumi News that his bank account was used to receive money as part of financial transactions by Mavunkal without his knowledge. The transactions were with an Alappuzha-based firm. Ajith claimed that his former boss did the same with bank accounts of many of his staff. After he broke off with Mavunkal, the latter reportedly used his contacts within the police force to hoist fabricated cases and intimidate him.
Authenticity of ivory
The Forest Department conducted a raid at Mavunkal’s Kochi home on Wednesday to probe if the ivory seen in videos featuring him was illegal. Reports say there are two sets of ivory at his home. If the ivory is original, the department would investigate if Mavunkal had legal claim to it.
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