Advocate K. Haridas, the accomplice of murdered gem dealer Harihara Varma, who was arrested on Sunday, was produced before the court and remanded in judicial custody here on Monday.

The police team investigating the case had kept Haridas under surveillance after suspicion cropped up about his role in the episode, particularly the details he had given the police on the accused and the delay in informing the police. He had not informed the police directly though he was allegedly with Varma at the time of the murder, sources said.

Middlemen and dealers who came to Varma for gems were lodged in hotels in and around Thampanoor and also in a house at Vattiyoorkavu, which belonged to Haridas’s daughter.

It was Haridas who introduced Varma as a member of the royal family to prospective customers, apart from introducing himself as a member of the Travancore royal family and as the legal adviser of a hospital run by the royal family, the police said, adding that it was the advocate who had shown and described the gems to the dealers.

His claims that he had acquired a law degree in 1970 and that he possessed a three-year diploma from a US university were being verified, the police said, adding that Haridas had demanded a 50 per cent commission from the accused for reducing the price of the gems from that quoted by Varma.

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