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‘Expensive’ watches, rings — How conman Monson Mavunkal lured celebs

Gifts presented to humour film stars and prominent personalities bought from Bengaluru and Delhi duplicate markets, says his former driver

Published: 01st October 2021 06:40 AM  |   Last Updated: 01st October 2021 06:40 AM   |  A+A-

Crime Branch officials taking Monson Mavunkal after inspecting his house in Kaloor on Thursday. (Photo | A Sanesh, EPS)

Crime Branch officials taking Monson Mavunkal after inspecting his house in Kaloor on Thursday. (Photo | A Sanesh, EPS)

Express News Service

KOCHI: After the self-styled antique dealer was arrested, the video of singer M G Sreekumar in a television channel event claiming that a Corum luxury watch and a black diamond ring were gifted by his friend Dr Monson Mavunkal is being widely circulated these days. However, people who were close to Monson said the watch and the ring gifted to Sreekumar are most likely to be fake, sourced from National Market in Bengaluru and New Delhi’s Chandni Chowk.

Known as ‘seconds’ or ‘replica’ watches, almost all models of luxury watches are available in the black market. It is learnt that Monson had bought replica watches from the black market and gifted many of these to prominent personalities. The price of an original Corum watch’s Admiral model will come to a whopping Rs 55 lakh.

Like antique and imported cars, Monson also befriended film stars, other celebrities and senior police officials by giving gifts that look very expensive and rare. Mostly, he gifted watches, sunglasses, rings with ‘precious’ stones, ornaments, perfumes, and paintings claimed to be of antique value.

Ajith Nettoor, who had worked as a driver of Monson for over 10 years till earlier this year, said these are first-copy products. Ajith said he had accompanied Monson to these markets to buy such items. “These watches, perfumes, sunglasses and rings which Monson gifted to his celebrity friends are from National Market in Bengaluru. He also bought such goods from New Delhi. These are first-copy products. The duplicate of a luxury watch worth several lakhs of rupees is available at such these markets for just Rs 4,000-Rs 10,000. He maintained friendships with celebrities by gifting such goods. Maybe, those who received the gifts never realised that these were just first-copy products,” he said.

He also said Monson once gifted some ornaments to his close friend who is a film star. However, the star later came to know that the ornaments were fake after which the two had arguments. “But later, the issues between them were sorted out. Till Monson’s arrest, the film star used to frequent his house,” Ajith said.
A YouTuber who did a video of the antique collection of Monson also told media outlets that the accused had gifted him a painting of Lord Sreekrishna claiming it to be around 400 years old. After Monson’s arrest, he realised that the painting was not antique as he was told.

Two persons who gave money to Monson were given Porsche and BMW cars. Later, they came to know that these cars were pre-owned bought from Bengaluru. Similarly, he also gave six luxury cars to a businessman at Pathalam in Kochi which also turned out to be used cars.



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