Kochi: The Crime Branch police will record the statement of an Italy-based Malayali woman, Anitha Pullayil, who claimed to have introduced senior police officers, including former DGP Loknath Behera, to fake antique dealer Monson Mavunkal, now in custody for cheating several people to the tune of at least Rs 10 crore.
Investigators are suspecting that Anitha was privy to Monson's financial transactions. The investigating team has also decided to examine her financial dealings. She has been told to reach Kerala for recording her statement.
The Crime Branch has already collected some information from her over the phone. Though she was known to be a close friend of Monson, police have not found any evidence to link her with Monson's alleged fradulent deals.
Investigators would be recording her statement after collecting more evidence. The woman earlier admitted that she had invited Behera and other officers to Monson's residence at Kaloor in Kochi. She also claimed to have severed ties with him after realising that he was a fraud.
The Crime Branch, however, has not taken her claim at face value. They expressed suspicion that fissures in her personal relationship with Monson made her denounce him.
Anitha earlier told the media that she had helped the complainants in the cheating case. It was found that she used to visit Kerala at regular intervals, and the probe team would be examining whether those visits were to help Monson. It was also suspected that she knew more about Monson's contacts with influential people.
Investigators were currently checking if Monsoon had dealt with more people other than the complaints, and if there was substance in the allegation that he had undertaken antique dealings overseas. Police were expecting that questioning Anitha would shed more light into these matters.
The Crime Branch might consider recording her statement online considering the practical difficulties in travelling during the pandemic.