Fake Indian 'space men' arrested over NASA scam

Larry Hoffman
May 10, 2018

Photos and a video of the father and son, dressed in silver space suits, being escorted by officials have gone viral.The men were arrested after the businessman complained to the police.

In another incident of fraud, Indian police have taken father and son in custody for defrauding a businessman to buy a copper plate with special properties that would interest NASA and ISRO. These are cons who allegedly duped a Delhi-based businessman of Rs. 1.43 crore claiming they worked for NASA.

"[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.

They promised it would be sold to NASA and India's space agency for hundreds of millions of dollars, police said.

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 victim told the police that initially, the device was to be tested in Hapur, a small city in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, but the accused kept shifting dates and made frivolous excuses like the place was not a conducive location for the tests.

The NASA con men were passing off the metal plate as a rare piece of copper which they claimed was struck by a thunderbolt. He further came to know that he had been cheated and the so-called scientists are members of the racket, the police said. At social gatherings, the father-son duo performed this trick, and if it drew the attention of any potential customer, they would continuously follow up with him and pose as a "rice-puller seller".

According to the police, the victim later found out that the "scientist" was working with the accused, and was being paid ₹20,000.

The conmen told the victim that NASA was willing to pay around ₹375 billion for a device called the "Rice Puller".

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 auto.

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