Kerala

Monson’s ‘police and political connections’ rock Assembly

Grand entrance: A view of the house in Kaloor where Monson Mavunkal was staying. THULASI KAKKAT  

The financial “shenanigans” of “fake” antiquities dealer Monson Mavunkal and his “high political and police connections” rocked the Assembly on Tuesday.

The UDF walked out of the House, accusing the Government of ignoring cautionary intelligence reports against Monson and providing “police cover” for his “illegal activities”.

Leader of the Opposition V.D. Satheesan said the Government should suspend from active duty police officers who had aided Monson.

He said the public had lost confidence in the State police after photographs of top officers accepting Monson’s “hospitality” surfaced in the media.

The police had provided “beat patrol protection” to Monson’s collection of fake antiquities, thereby endorsing his false claims.

Mr. Satheesan said State Police Chief Loknath Behera and ADGP Manoj Abraham had visited Monson’s “museum”. Yet, no law enforcer asked Monson the provenance of the “relics” or whether he had a collector’s license.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said Mr. Behera had ordered an intelligence investigation immediately after his visit to Monson’s “museum and residence” in December 2019.

In 2020, the Special Branch reported that Monson’s activities were highly suspect, and the artefacts he touted as historical relics were handcrafted cheap knock-offs.

The intelligence also suspected Monson could be a “debt dodging confidence trickster” who palmed off handicrafts as antiquities to wealthy, uninformed and eager collectors by blurring the line between fact and fiction.

The intelligence had also doubted Monson’s credentials as a “doctor” and “cosmetic surgeon” and the source of his money.

The CM said Mr. Behera had duly forwarded the intelligence report to the Enforcement Directorate (E.D.).

The SPC also brought Monson’s House under police surveillance. He said that the lack of a specific complaint had impeded the police from initiating a criminal investigation against Monson.

Mr. Vijayan said Mr. Behera had gone to Monson’s House as a visitor and not for “treatment” as an “important personage” did. The CM’s comment was interpreted as an oblique reference to KPCC president K.Sudhakaran who said he had consulted Monson as a stylist.

Speaker M. B. Rajesh denied opposition leave to introduce the adjournment motion moved by Congress legislator P. T. Thomas.


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Printable version | Jan 20, 2022 10:02:08 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/monsons-police-and-political-connections-rock-assembly/article36836317.ece

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