NRI woman’s statement in cheating cases against Kerala ‘conman’ recorded

Updated on Oct 21, 2021 05:30 PM IST

Anitha Pullayil said she had once even asked Kerala police chief Loknath Behra to visit Mavunkal’s museum in Kochi, the SIT official said

Mavunkal was arrested last month for selling fake artefacts and cheating. On Wednesday, he was also booked for raping a minor two years ago. (Photo PTI)
Mavunkal was arrested last month for selling fake artefacts and cheating. On Wednesday, he was also booked for raping a minor two years ago. (Photo PTI)

The special investigation team (SIT) probing cheating cases against self-styled antique collector Monson Mavunkal (52) on Thursday took the statement of Italy-based Malayalee woman Anitha Pullayil, who was reportedly close to him once, through video conferencing, said a senior official.

She insisted she has no role in his dealings and kept away from him after she learnt about his shoddy deals, said the official. However, the SIT will take a final decision on summoning her after examining her statements in detail, he added.

After details of her statement came out, an audio tape carrying Mavunkal’s purported telephonic conversation with another unidentified person also surfaced. HT could not verify the authenticity of the tape in which Mavunkal claimed to have spent 14 lakh on Pullayil’s sister’s marriage which she purportedly refused to return. Pullayil is yet to respond to the allegation.

After cheating cases against Mavunkal surfaced, Pullayil had appeared in a couple of Malayalam news channels claiming she was advising people, allegedly conned by him, to approach the police. Pullayil also said she was not aware of his tricky deals earlier and cut off her ties to him after becoming aware.

While she stuck to her earlier position in the statement given to the SIT, she admitted to have introduced many police officials to him. She claimed that Mavunkal misused her high contacts owing to her association with several Non Resident Indian (NRI) welfare bodies and Non Governmental Organisations (NGO), the official quoted above said.

Also Read: Monson Mavunkal, the conman who sold Moses’s staff, Krishna’s dahi handi

She said she had once even asked state police chief Loknath Behra to visit Mavunkal’s museum in Kochi, the SIT official said. Photos of Behra sitting on the alleged ‘throne of Tippu Sultan,’ as claimed by Mavunkal, had embarrassed the police.

Mavunkal, who was arrested last month for selling fake artefacts and cheating, was also booked under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (Pocso) Act on Tuesday for allegedly raping the daughter of one of his employees two years ago. Police said he promised to fund the victim’s education and sexually assaulted her several times. In her complaint, the teenager’s mother said her daughter was 17 year old when sexually assaulted by Mavunkal and that her family was scared to approach the police.

The police booked Mavunkal under the Pocso Act and then transferred the case to the SIT. The SIT also took the statement of Ernakulam Press Club secretary P Sashikanth on Wednesday in connection with a family event of club members purportedly sponsored by Mavunkal last year.

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