Will CBI now step in to unravel Monson's deals?

Monson Mavunkal Fake Antiques Fraud

Kochi: More central agencies are likely to step in to investigate the charges against the self-styled antique dealer and conman Monson Mavunkal after the Kerala High Court stressed that it is a strange case that cannot be taken lightly.

The Enforcement Directorate is already probing a case registered against him for duping a few people crores of rupees. It is also scrutinising transactions carried out by Monson within India and abroad.

But barring financial issues the ED does not have the powers to look into other matters; hence the intervention of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is likely required.

The high court queried whether the Kerala Police is enough to probe the multiple aspects of the scandal and sought the view of the central authorities on the matter.

The ED counsel informed the court that a premier agency like CBI would be suitable to probe issues including Monson's links with a Keralite lady, Anitha Pullayil, based in Italy.

Meanwhile, the ED was asked to submit the details of the preliminary investigations in a sealed cover. The court also sought to know about the jurisdiction of ED's investigation.

The counsel for the Central government told the court that the ED had already begun the probe. The ED too informed the court that based on the letter given by State Police Chief, preliminary investigations have begun into the financial transactions linked to Monson.

The court posted the hearing for December 1.

Justice Devan Ramachandran was hearing the petition filed by Monson's former driver E V Ajith who alleged that the police was harassing him for giving a statement against the accused.

The case information report has been filed.

'Strange case'

During the course of the arguments, the court observed that the Monson case cannot be seen as a joke since strange things have happened. The DGP and ADGP visiting Monson's house on the invitation of a non-resident Keralite (Anitha Pullayil) should be taken seriously.

How far will the probe be effective when officers working below them are investigating the matter? The court wondered.

The police which had conducted a confidential probe into Monson's activities had also simultaneously arranged security for him. Did you conduct investigations about Anitha Pulleyil who is living in Italy? What are the activities and transactions in foreign countries? The police are not taking up such matters, the court observed and sought the government's explanation on this matter.

The prosecution Director-General who appeared for the state government told the court that the police had the powers to investigate Indian citizens anywhere.

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