Monson Fraud Case: Court Orders to Return Antiquities to Santosh | Cochin
Kochi: A court here has ordered the return of antiques that con artist Monson Mavunkal misused to carry out a massive scam against original owner S. Santosh, a native of Kilimanoor.
Following the CJM court order, a total of 900 “antique” items are handed over to Santosh on a bail of Rs two crore. However, only 15 items, including a spear, ancient coins and musical instruments, were found to be of archaeological value upon examination by the central archaeological department.
The dahi handi of Lord Krishna, the staff of Moses, the silver coins of Judas, the age-old idol of Ganesha carved in red sanders, the controversial chembola – all those “antique” objects he used to deceive victims were purchased from Santosh.
The latter, in his complaint, accused Monson of taking away the things worth Rs 3.30 crore, promising to make the payment soon after opening an antiquities museum.
Monson also admitted in court that the items belonged to Santosh.
The latter had made a statement regarding the provenance of all these elements.
A Crime Branch investigation concluded that his statements were true and submitted a report, based on which the court issued the order.
Santosh said he picked up the items from various parts of the country after making due payments. He bought the same ones with the intention of renting them out for film shoots, and also out of curiosity.
However, Monson took the items that deceived him and used them to carry out the multi-crore fraud, Santosh charged.
Whenever he asked the price, Monson used to lie and tell the same false stories he used to tell to deceive others. Santosh said Monson showed him documents of the millions of rupees “owed to him from abroad”.
Furthermore, he said the defendant’s pleasant demeanor and VIP dealings had earned his trust.
Since all of the items turned over were kept in Monson’s own home, Santosh believed he would eventually receive his payment.
However, he did not learn of the existence of the fake antiquities collection in the cover of these articles until after his arrest. After that, he took legal action to get the items back, Santosh said.