Conmen duped Indian businessman of ₹14.3 million claiming they could sell a device to DRDO, NASA

Kavita Majumdar | May 9, 2018, 06.45PM IST
The conmen told the victim that NASA was willing to pay around ₹375 billion for a device called the 'Rice Puller'.The duo, both motor mechanics, along with a bunch of others, duped him of ₹14.3 million. He again entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with another company paying an additional ₹5.11 million.A father-son duo pulled a fast one on a businessman by convincing him to invest in a device, dubbed the Rice Puller, that is apparently used by research agencies like National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) for space research. The victim, a garments exporter, approached the Delhi Police Crime Branch earlier this month, claiming that the duo, both motor mechanics, along with a bunch of others, duped him of ₹14.3 million by claiming that they would sell the device to NASA. This isn’t the first time someone has used the ‘Rice Puller’ scheme to fool unsuspecting ‘investors’. It is, in fact, a favourite of conmen. The ‘benefits’ of the device are many but usually, the conmen resort to a simple magic trick that demonstrates the device, apparently made of copper and iridium, drawing rice towards it, as a bait. The police said that the accused was told by Virender Mohan Brar (the father) that his company could arrange for the sale of the item to NASA for around ₹375 billion after testing its genuineness. The tests would apparently be done by DRDO scientists and some chemicals would be imported for it. The accused also told Narender that NASA would pay ₹100 million upfront as token money if the test was found "OK".The victim signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the accused and paid ₹8.72 million for arranging special anti-radiation suits to be worn by scientists during testing, their fees, money for obtaining chemicals required for testing etc. 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. Later, other associates of the alleged seller of the ‘Rice Puller’ threatened to finalise the ‘deal’ elsewhere and introduced the victim to another ‘seller’, assuring him that this deal was genuine. Narender succumbed to pressure and again entered into a MoU with the company, paying ₹5.11 million on different occasions for the testing of 'Rice Puller', which was now scheduled to take place in Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh, the police said.According to the police, the victim later found out that the ‘scientist’ was working with the accused, and was being paid ₹20,000.The duo was arrested on Tuesday (8th May) by the Crime Branch and the ‘Rice Puller’ copper plate, anti-radiation scientist suits and anti-radiation chemical stickers were seized from their possession.

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