Three persons including a retired air force official were arrested on charges of duping an ex-army man into paying them Rs 70 lakh for an ancient ‘rice puller’ (gold pot) that could ‘earn him crores’, said police Friday.
The con artists are suspected of having duped others too, including a central Delhi businessman of Rs 2.5 crore, with this ‘rice puller’ trick, which has been around for some time and is also the subject of debates on the internet, said sources.
A ‘rice puller’ is touted to attract rice, with other astounding features, the sources added. Police are yet to receive any other complaint about this gang, but investigations are on, said an officer.
The retired air force official, Tapeshwar Tyagi (53), had debts and targeted his friend, retired Subedar Major Balraj Singh Parmar, said police. Tyagi roped in two others to pull off the crime, police added. Tyagi met Parmar at a party and posed as the Asia sales head of a France-based company dealing in purchase and sale of ‘rice pullers’. He told Parmar a ‘rice puller’ is an alloy of copper and iridium and used by National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in satellites and space for generating energy, said a police officer. Later, Tyagi introduced his accomplice, Deepak Tiwari (36), a graphic designer, to Parmar, the officer added.
JCP (crime) Ravindra Singh Yadav said, “Tiwari approached Parmar to buy a ‘rice puller’ from an acquaintance at a very cheap price and lured him by claiming it was worth hundreds of crores.”
Tiwari told Parmar they could sell the ‘rice puller’ to Tyagi’s company, which would sell to it to NASA, said Yadav. “The duo roped in another associate, Naresh Kumar Gandhi (65), who was earlier arrested by Jammu police for allegedly duping a man on the pretext of selling a ‘rice puller’.”
Yadav said, “Parmar was taken to Nashik, where Gandhi was introduced to him as an expert to certify whether the ‘rice puller’ was original or fake. Other persons joined the trio and Parmar was given some yellow coloured metal after paying Rs 70 lakh.”
Later, Parmar realised he had been duped and lodged a complaint with Nashik Police, where a cheating case was registered in January.
Nashik Police informed Delhi Police Crime Branch about the case. Crime branch officials nabbed the suspects in Delhi, said Yadav.
During questioning, Tyagi said he suffered losses in a computer business and came upon the idea ‘rice puller’ deals while surfing a technology website, said Yadav.