Indian police with a father and son who are accused of defrauding a businessman by pretending they were with NASA. (Twitter: Bhishima Singnh)
Police in New Delhi have arrested a father and son dressed in radiation suits who convinced a businessman to give them more than $260,000, claiming they had a deal with NASA.
The men were paraded by police in the Indian capital after allegedly selling the businessman a copper plate they described as a “rice puller”, which they said was charged by lightning and was used by NASA and India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation for space research programs.
Bhishma Singh, a deputy commissioner of police for the crime squad with the Delhi police, tweeted images of the men after their arrest.
He wrote they had assured the victim the “rice puller” would be sold to NASA for millions of rupees after it had been tested by scientists.
The Guardian reported the “fake device was apparently based on rare copper ‘that had been struck by a thunderbolt’ so that it could magnetise rice.”
The British newspaper reported the businessman went to police after handing over more than $260,000.
“[They] duped the victim on [the] pretext of arranging special suits to be worn by scientists for testing, buying chemicals required for testing, his fees etc,” Mr Singh wrote on Twitter.
The officer said police had also seized laptops, fake letters, chequebooks and an Audi car.
Indian journalist Bhavatosh Singh tweeted a joke that the Delhi police had “averted a martian attack”.
The Guardian reported the men were already on bail after being “accused of selling snakes with ‘medicinal qualities’ for more than $25,000 each”.