A doctor, antique dealer & Youtuber: India’s conman who sold fake artefacts for millions of rupees held

WION
New Delhi Published: Sep 28, 2021, 10:27 PM(IST)

Monson Mavunkal, a Kerala-based Youtber and a resident of Cherthala, was arrested from Alappuzha district by the crime branch team on Sunday Photograph:( Instagram )

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The complaint against Mavunkal by victims said he showed them the so-called staff of Moses, the sword of Mysore King Tipu Sultan, scriptures inscribed in gold, Bhagwad Gita of Chhatrapati Shivaji, India’s Mughal king Aurangzeb’s ring among others

A self-proclaimed antique dealer, who claimed to have high-profile connections with politicians, celebrities and bureaucrats, was arrested in India’s southern Kerala state for swindling millions of rupees by selling fake antiques.

Monson Mavunkal, a Kerala-based Youtber and a resident of Cherthala, was arrested from Alappuzha district by the crime branch team on Sunday based on a complaint from six people after he duped them of Rs 10 crore (100 million rupees) in 2017.

According to police, the 52-year-old conman told his clients that he will be getting Rs 24 crore (240 million rupees) after selling antiques to the royal family in the Middle East and that he needs some money to clear legal hurdles to get the amount transferred from his foreign bank account to his Indian account. He would then lure the victims by promising them a partnership in a huge museum project that he claimed was in the pipeline to be made in Kochi.

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According to reports, the conman was planning a new fraud where he had convinced people that he was planning to buy 93 antiques worth Rs 15,000 crores (150 billion rupees)  for the antique museum in Qatar.

But his plan got backfired this time and he was arrested. The police have been on the hunt for a few months after six cheated victims filed a complaint with the state’s Chief Minister Pinari Vijayan in July this year.

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The complaint against Mavunkal by victims said he showed them the so-called staff of Moses, the sword of Mysore King Tipu Sultan, scriptures inscribed in gold, Bhagwad Gita of Chhatrapati Shivaji, India’s Mughal king Aurangzeb’s ring among others. 

Mavunkal’s shenanigans weren’t limited to him posing as an antique collector alone. It is being said that Monson also dipped into other professions to find unique ways to con people. He used to pretend as a doctor, philanthropist, actor and promoter of world peace and considered himself to be a ‘jack of all trades’.

(With inputs from agencies)

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