KOCHI: The arrest of the self-styled antique collector Monson Mavunkal on charges of financial fraud has opened a Pandora’s box after his alleged links with many top political leaders, police officers and film stars came to the fore.
Photographs of Monson posing with former DGP Loknath Behera, ADGP Manoj Abraham, former DIG K Surendran and Congress state president K Sudhakaran surfaced on Monday, triggering speculation that he may have got help from higher-ups to escape the police net till now. A business deal worth Rs 1.5 crore struck with four persons in June 2017 ballooned to as high as Rs 10 crore as he stitched several deals into it until November 2020, which exposed Monson’s fraud, culminating in his arrest on Sunday.
The complainants alleged the police officers took a laid-back approach to their complaints due to the intervention of a few top police officials. “I lent him money two years back. A majority of the deals happened in the presence of big personalities,” said E A Salim, of Kozhikode, a complainant.
As per an agreement struck with Salim, Rs 4 crore was lent to Monson.
The amount was pooled in by Yakkoob Purayil, Sidhique Purayil, Shameer T M and Salim— all hailing from Kozhikode. When they demanded the money back after three months, he threatened Salim saying that he had close links with underworld don Dawood Ibrahim. As pressure mounted, the police came out with a clarification claiming that they had inquired into Monson’s activities when allegations of his fraud cropped up. As per the complaint, Monson, who introduced himself as the managing director of Kalinga Kaliyan Pvt Ltd, told the complainants that he had been running an antique-diamond business for the past 25 years along with V J Patel, chairman of the company and based in New Delhi.
When the two received Rs 2.62 lakh crore from the business via a bank account from abroad, some discrepancies under the Foreign Exchange Management Act were detected and the amount was frozen by the Union Finance Ministry. To retrieve it legally, he required money, he convinced them. He borrowed money from the complainants after producing forged documents of a bank account at HSBC dated July 6, 2010. Meanwhile, Monson was remanded in judicial custody till October 6.