Fugitive in Dubai’s decade-old murder case arrested in Kerala

Fugitive in Dubai’s decade-old murder case arrested in Kerala

Devyani alias Annie Varghese, the co-accused in the sensational missing case of Smitha Antony, was arrested after three months of rigorous search.



By Amira Agarib/principal Correspondent

Published: Sat 20 Jun 2015, 1:22 AM

Last updated: Wed 8 Jul 2015, 2:49 PM

Antony and Smitha. -File photo

Dubai - A prime suspect who was on the run in an alleged murder case, which happened 10 years ago in Dubai, was arrested in the Indian state of Kerala on Thursday. 

A special investigation team of Kerala Crime Branch Police from Kannur, led by Superintendent of Police K G Soman, arrested Devyani alias Annie Varghese, the co-accused in the sensational missing case of Smitha Antony, after three months of rigorous search.

Smitha Antony, a newly-wed and just 25 then, was reported missing by her husband, Sabu Antony, on September 3, 2005 — two days after her arrival in  Dubai.

He lodged a complaint at Al Rafaa police station along with a letter purportedly written by Smitha, which stated that she was eloping with her lover.

Based on forensic tests conducted earlier this year by the Interpol, the Kerala Police in March concluded that the letter was written by Antony himself.

During the investigation the police found that Devyani had changed her name and date of birth to obtain a fake passport. Later she fled to Kuwait from Calicut Airport on April 14, 2013, by Air India and had been working in the government sector.

On Thursday, the crime branch team grilled her in the presence of the main accused, Sabu Antony, soon after the arrest.

She admitted to the police that Sabu assaulted his wife Smitha at their home in Dubai. She said Sabu rebuked her for asking the reason, warning her not to interfere with their family matters. The next day a strong argument took place between the couple, and Sabu used a sharp-edged weapon to attack her, inflicting an wound on her body. She was bleeding and crying when Devyani entered into the room. When Devyani tried to prevent the assault, Sabu also attacked her and she also got injured, and left the place. The next day Sabu called Devayani and she went there but did not find Smitha. Sabu told her that he did not know where she had gone.

The police will produce Devyani before the judicial first class Magistrate court, Ernakulam, to record her statement of confession.

As the investigation has taken a new turn, the family of Smitha believes that the mystery behind their daughter’s death will soon be solved.

Meanwhile, the Dubai Police are continuing their investigation and haven’t ruled out a murder angle. They also suspect Devyani had connections with a prostitution racket at that time.

The body of the deceased is being kept at the Sharjah Kuwaiti Hospital for the past 10 years and Dubai Police are awaiting results of a crucial DNA test.


More news from Crime and Courts