ED seeks to question Mohanlal on relation with arrested fake antique dealer
Kochi, May 14 (IANS) The Enforcement Directorate's (ED) unit in Kerala's Kochi has served notice to superstar Mohanlal, asking him to appear before them next week for questioning on his relations with now arrested fake antique dealer Monson Mavunkal.
The popular film star had visited Mavunkal's 'museum' where he displayed his fake "antique" collection.
The Crime Branch arrested Mavunkal from his home-cum-museum in the last week of September after victims approached Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, complaining that they were swindled of Rs 10 crores by this "master fraud" who managed to even take the top Kerala Police officials for a ride.
These included Kerala Police chief Loknath Behra (now retired), who had previously worked with the NIA, and the CBI and his deputy Manoj Abraham. The pictures of these two officials standing in the museum had gone viral in the social media then.
Mavunkal sought to impress his high-profile guests by showcasing antiques in his collection which, he claimed, included the "staff of Moses" and "two of the 30 silver coins that were taken by Judas to cheat Jesus Christ".
Police said that he had also other "rare" items -- a throne said to be used by Tipu Sultan, as well as a huge collection of old Qurans, Bibles (Old Testament and New Testament), and old handwritten copies of Bhagavad Gita.
Mavunkal used to bring several VIPs to his palatial residence, a part of which was converted into museum to house his 'precious' antiques.
Mohanlal was among the visitors and the ED will be seeking to know how he came to know about the dealer.
By now, the ED has taken similar statements from a few people and the Kerala government had suspended IGP G. Lekshmana for his alleged close links with the conman.
Lekshmana was supposed to appear before the ED officials this week, but is yet to turn up.