Man, son dupe Delhi bizman, sell copper plate for Rs 1.43 crore with NASA pitchdelhi Updated: May 08, 2018 23:54 IST
The conmen used copper plates, fake Hazmat suits and other protective gear to conduct ‘tests’ to sound authentic.(Photo: Sourced)
A Delhi businessman was allegedly duped of Rs 1.43 crore by a father-son duo, both motor mechanics, who promised to sell him a metallic plate claiming it had unique physical properties necessary for scientific research, police said on Tuesday.
Calling the copper plate a ‘rice puller’, the conmen told the businessman he could sell it to NASA for Rs 37,500 crore if it ‘tested’ positive for the special physical properties. The cheating happened on the pretext of arranging the testing procedure that included arranging special chemicals, calling foreign scientists and buying special Hazmat suits for them.
Alok Kumar, joint commissioner of police (crime), said the duo was arrested after the victim approached the police in April on realising that the scheduled scientific tests were being constantly postponed.
The ‘rice puller’ copper plate, fake Hazmat suits and other protective gear have been recovered from the duo, identified as Virender Mohan Brar, 56, and his 30-year-old son, Nitin Mohan.
This is not the first time a fraud of this nature has been reported in India. The information on con jobs involving ‘rice puller’ is widely circulated on the internet.
In the latest case in Delhi, the father-son duo told their victims that the ‘rice puller’ plate could be charged by thunderbolt.
That property gave it the power to attract rice grains and led to its demand at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) as it could help generate energy, the conmen told their victims.
“The fraudsters use basic magnetic principles to make their victims believe that the plate can actually attract rice grains. The ‘rice puller’ is only a common metal plate that is useless for scientists in every way,” said Naveen Gaur, an associate professor of physics at Delhi University’s Dyal Singh College.
To pass off their copper plate as unique, the father-son duo would allegedly coat it with a thin layer of magnets. They would then insert minute pieces of iron into boiled rice grains. The plate attracting the rice grains would fool their victims, said police.
The trick would begin with the father and son meeting wealthy people at social gatherings and creating hype over the financial potential of ‘rice pullers’. “If they realised that someone was interested, one of them would call the victim over phone and pose as a rice puller seller,” said an investigator.
While the ‘rice puller’ in itself would fetch little money, it was the subsequent ‘tests’ that helped dupe the victims. “The victim would be told that the plate could be sold to NASA only if it was proved to be capable of pulling rice. For that, it needed to be tested,” said the investigator.
The conmen would pretend to arrange the testing process, choosing hills as locations. “The son wearing the Hazmat suit would pose as a NASA scientist. But each time the fake test would be postponed with the excuse that the circumstances were not favourable for the right results,” said the investigator.
It was only after the victim in the latest case ended up paying Rs 1.43 crore in multiple instalments that he realised he was being duped. He approached the police upon which the father-son duo was caught.