4,000-year-old dome for Rs 5k crore: 9 years on, case in cold storage

Trial proceedings yet to start in case which bears resemblance to Monson’s shady deals

Published: 10th October 2021 07:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 10th October 2021 07:00 AM   |  A+A-

Cash; Capital; investment

For representational purpose.

By Express News Service

KOCHI: More and more details of the massive fraud committed by conman Monson Mavunkal under the cover of ‘antique trade’ are coming out with each passing day. However, a nine-year-old case in which four persons were arrested for attempting to cheat a Kalamassery native by claiming that they were in possession of a ‘thazhika kudam’ (temple dome), that was 4,000 years old and costs around Rs 5,000 crore, remains in cold storage.

Though the police filed the final report in the case in 2013, the trial proceedings have not commenced yet, alleged  complainant Gireesh Babu, who said that he will be moving the court seeking follow-up action in the case.The accused had demanded Rs 5 lakh for ascertaining the age of the antique pieces and offered him Rs 100 crore as commission if he agreed to pay the amount. The  Kalamassery police had registered a case in the 2012 incident.

A four-member gang headed by K Prathapan aka ‘Kidilan’ Prathapan, hailing from Ottappalam approached Gireesh Babu, who was working as a film production executive seeking his help to sell the ‘thazhika kudam’. Interestingly, the fraud they planned was similar to the fraud committed by Monson.

“They sought a sum of Rs 5 lakh to conduct an examination to ascertain the exact time period of the antique item. If I agreed to pay the money, they promised me a sum of Rs 100 crore as commission after selling it. Sensing  fraudulence, I informed the Kalamassery police,” said Gireesh Babu.

Besides Prathapan, Premkumar of Palakkad, Vivek R Menon of Guruvayur and B V Kannan of Thiruchirappilly were arrested by the police. All of them have been granted bail. Police officers under the guise of customers approached the gang and nabbed them from HMT Junction, Kalamassery.

“Kalamassery police completed the investigation and filed the chargesheet in 2013. In most of these cases, the perpetrators escaped  punishment after settling with complainants. They approached me several times for a settlement. I will approach the High Court if follow-up action is not initiated,” added Gireesh Babu.

How they operated
A four-member gang approached Gireesh Babu seeking his help to sell the ‘thazhika kudam’.
 The accused had demanded `5 L for ascertaining the age of the antique pieces


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