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Three held for selling fake red mercury

They told the policemen who trapped them that that the material could be used in making nuclear bombs.

Written by Johnson T A | Bangalore |
January 1, 2015 9:24:11 pm

Three persons spinning a yarn straight out of a spy movie to sell red mercury, a hoax nuclear material, have been trapped and arrested by the Bangalore central crime branch (CCB) police.

The trio were prospecting for buyers for what they called a consignment of red mercury, a nuclear material they claimed was obtained in the Soviet Union and originally procured by the LTTE before it was brought to India by some former LTTE cadre. Police laid a trap for the cheats by posing as buyers and arrested the trio.

The three men were passing off an aluminium block that was in their possession as red mercury from the erstwhile Soviet Union. The arrested trio were identified as Manigandan and Mohammed Haneef, residents of Hosur in Tamil Nadu and Nagaraj of Hoskote in Karnataka. Police said the trio were real estate agents who were drawn into the con job plotted by a man identified as Jay Singh of Hosur, Tamil Nadi who is still at large.

The trio were valuing the aluminium block that was in their possession at a price of Rs 150 crore. They told the policemen who trapped them that that the material could be used in making nuclear bombs. They claimed that the red mercury consignment was brought to India by LTTE cadre after the death of LTTE leader Prabhakaran.

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The CCB police who got wind of the conmen prospecting for buyers laid a trap where the conmen demanded Rs 150 crore for their consignment. They demanded Rs five lakh from police for providing a sample of the material. They produced a fake report on the material from a purported US lab to prove their credentials. The police who arrested the trio seized the eight pounds of aluminium that the con men were selling as red mercury and found it to be worth Rs 7500. The accused presented the red mercury inside a cylindrical block claiming that the substance was highly combustible if exposed to air.

Incidentally, red mercury has been internationally debunked as a hoax. After arresting the conmen and seizing their consignment police conducted tests on the material. They found it to be aluminium. A case of cheating has been registered at the Upparpet police station in west Bangalore.

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