Two men in homemade spacesuits who claimed they had a deal with NASA and could generate electricity “from thunderbolts” have been arrested for allegedly defrauding a businessman.
Indian police tweeted a picture of the father and son duo wearing crinkly silver material and floppy topped helmets after a businessman complained he had been duped out of £156,000.
Virender Mohan Brar, 56, and Nitin Mohan Brar, 30, claimed they would be able to sell a device called the “rice puller” to NASA once it was ready.
Police said they recovered what the accused described as “copper plates, anti-radiation suits (and) anti-radiation chemical stickers”, The Indian Express reported.
A laptop, printer, foreign chequebooks, fake ID cards and an Audi car were also confiscated.
They were confident and spoke in fluent English, police said, wore branded clothes and expensive watches and travelled in luxury cars with two armed security guards.
It is believed the pair duped at least 30 people from Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand.
Joint commissioner of police Alok Kumar said the complainant, Narender Saini, had been asked by Virender Mohan Brar for “seed money” a few years ago.
Mr Saini was allegedly told by the accused that he was paying for “anti-radiation suits” that scientists would wear during testing.
Deputy commissioner of police Bhisham Sing said the duo “roped in fake actors posing as Defence Research and Development Organisation officials just to convince Saini about the authenticity of the equipment”.
An official said the pair had also been arrested after selling some snakes, claiming they were rare and had medicinal properties.
They are said to have run seven offices in Delhi.