Monson Mavunkal fraud case: Kerala Congress chief K Sudhakaran named 2nd accused - Hindustan Times
close_game
close_game

Monson Mavunkal fraud case: Kerala Congress chief K Sudhakaran named 2nd accused

Mar 05, 2024 03:59 PM IST

The Kerala Police Crime Branch named the senior Congress leader in its charge sheet filed before the Ernakulam Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate court

Kerala Congress chief K Sudhakaran has been named as the second accused in a financial fraud case that involves fake antiques dealer Monson Mavunkal, officials familiar with the matter said on Tuesday. Mavunkal is the first accused in the case.

Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee president K Sudhakaran. (Facebook photo)
Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee president K Sudhakaran. (Facebook photo)

The Kerala Police Crime Branch named the senior Congress leader in its charge sheet filed before the Ernakulam Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate court.

HT launches Crick-it, a one stop destination to catch Cricket, anytime, anywhere. Explore now!

Sudhakaran has reportedly been charged with cheating and criminal conspiracy for allegedly receiving 10 lakh from Mavunkal and aiding false representations about the dealer and the fake artefacts that he claimed to be authentic to several people.

The complainants alleged that they had paid Mavunkal 25 lakh at his residence in Kochi in the presence of Sudhakaran. Photos of Sudhakaran and Mavunkal appearing together had also surfaced on social media in 2021.

The Congress leader, however, termed the allegations “baseless” and has stuck to the argument that he had visited Mavunkal as the latter had claimed to be a cosmetologist. Sudhakaran was not available for comment following Tuesday’s development.

Sudhakaran was arrested by the crime branch in June last year in connection but the Kerala high court granted him bail. He had last year also appeared for questioning before the Enforcement Directorate (ED), which has been probing allegations of money laundering in the same case.

Mavunkal, who was arrested by the crime branch in September 2021, is accused of swindling 10 crore from several people. He allegedly convinced them that the proceeds, amounting to 2.62 lakh crore, from the sale of antiques to a royal family based in the Gulf was frozen by the central government authorities and that he needed money to clear the procedures.

The fake antique pieces that Mavunkal displayed in his custody included the throne of Tipu Sultan, the Staff of Moses, the Bhagavad Gita of Chhatrapati Shivaji and a relic of St Anthony of Padua.

Mavunkal was sentenced to life imprisonment last year by a POCSO court in Kochi for raping a minor girl and is currently in jail.

Reacting to Sudhakaran being named in the charge sheet, his party colleague VD Satheesan said, “The police are hunting the opposition. We do not expect anything else from them. Initially, they tried to arrest him (Sudhakaran) in the guise of taking his statement. The high court granted him anticipatory bail. We will face this legally. Everyone knows that he has no role in it.”

Tuesday’s development comes ahead of Sudharakan’s likely candidature from Kannur as the Congress candidate for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. He is the sitting MP from the constituency.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Share this article
  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR
    author-default-90x90

    Vishnu Varma is Assistant Editor and reports from Kerala for the Hindustan Times. He has 10 years of experience writing for print and digital platforms and has worked at The New York Times, NDTV and The Indian Express in the past. He specialises in longform reportage at the intersections of politics, crime, social commentary and environment.

SHARE
Story Saved
Live Score
OPEN APP
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Sunday, April 21, 2024
Start 14 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now
Follow Us On