An Indian father and son have been paraded in space suits after being arrested for allegedly defrauding a businessman by pretending to work for Nasa.
The accused allegedly told investors that they were building a device called the ‘rice puller’, which could be used to generate ‘electricity from thunderbolts’.
Police say the duo convinced a businessman to buy what was in fact a copper coated plate for £157,600 and told them it could be sold to Nasa, via India’s Defence Research Development Organisation, for around £4.1bn.
The accused were named in local media reports as Virender Mohan Brar, 56, and his son 30-year-old son Nitin and they were reported to have duped 30 people across India in recent years.
Police said the conmen apparently coated the copper plate with ‘liquid magnet’ and attached small iron wires to try to fool the victim.
Part of their scam involved carrying out displays of the device while dressed in what appeared to be space suits and pretending to be from Nasa.
The accused men being paraded in their ‘space suits’ after being arrested
Local media named the men as Virender Mohan Brar, 56, and his son 30-year-old son Nitin
After the businessman complained to the police, the pair were then detained by Delhi police.
Photos and video of them dressed in silver space suits, being escorted by officials, were released by the police.
They said had recovered what the accused claimed were ‘copper plates, anti-radiation suits, anti-radiation chemical stickers’.
A laptop, printer, foreign cheque books, fake ID cards and an Audi car were also seized.
According to the Indian Express, police said the father and son employed actors to pretend to be officials from DRDO.
‘They travelled in luxury cars with two personal security officers who carried weapons,’ one officer told the paper.
‘They wore branded clothes and sported expensive watches. With their confidence and fluent English, most people would not suspect them.’
It added that Virender Brar was previously arrested for trying to sell snakes, which he claimed had medicinal properties.