Police in India have arrested a father and son who masqueraded as Nasa employees while allegedly trying to defraud a businessman out of almost €180,000.
The pair have since been paraded by the police in "space suits" after their arrest, with photos and a video of them going viral.
Police said the pair had convinced the businessman to buy a copper plate, which they claimed had "special properties", for $213,156 (€179,489).
They further assured him that he could sell the plate, which they called the "Rice Puller", to Nasa for around $5.5bn (€4.6bn).
Officers told the media that the duo had said the metal plate was a "rare piece of copper" which was "struck by a thunderbolt" and subsequently had the power to pull rice towards it.
Alleged ‘Rice Pullar’ copper plate, anti radiation scientist’s suits of NASA, anti radiation chemical stickers have been recovered along with laptop, printer, blank letter heads of Rehan Metals/USA, cheque books, fake ID cards of Rehan Metals and one Audi car. @DelhiPolice pic.twitter.com/YZOjFLQXLM— Bhishma Singh (@bhishamsingh24) May 8, 2018
In fact, the conmen had coated the plate with "liquid magnet" and small iron wires to try to fool the victim, according to the police.
They arrested the men after the businessman had complained, and the pair have not responded to the charges or commented on their public humiliation.
Gosh! This whole thing looks really comic. Why are they wearing a space suit. It's hilarious😂— Anuradha (@anuvb) May 8, 2018
"Crime Branch has arrested father-son duo for duping a Delhi based businessman of Rs 1.43 crore, claiming they have bagged a NASA project."
This is the greatest thing. Ever. pic.twitter.com/HSv6bRQdxS— Kabir Taneja (@KabirTaneja) May 8, 2018
- Digital Desk