spaceSpace and Physics

Fraudsters In Homemade "Space Suits" Arrested For Ridiculous NASA Scam


Tom Hale

Tom is a writer in London with a Master's degree in Journalism whose editorial work covers anything from health and the environment to technology and archaeology.

Senior Journalist

The father and son, wearing fake space suits, stand with police after being arrested. Delhi Police/Twitter

It's the perfect crime – using fake space suits to sell magical rice magnets to businessmen – so, what could have possibly gone wrong?

A father-son duo have been arrested in the Indian capital New Delhi for allegedly defrauding a businessman out of $213,156. Delhi Police say their master plan allegedly involved some shoddy homemade "radiation suits" to convince investors they had some advanced technology that could be sold to NASA and India’s space agency for billions of dollars.


As reported by AFP in New Delhi, the two men allegedly told investors they had developed a magical copper plate that had been “struck by a thunderbolt,” giving it the power to draw rice towards it like a magnet. They planned to employ actors, dressed in the radiation suits, to stage fake experiments in the hopes of persuading would-be investors to hand over their money. One of their ploys even involved mixing iron filings with the rice to give the impression of the grains being magnetized.


Unfortunately for the fraudsters, they were eventually sussed out after one New Delhi businessman grew suspicious of the men when they kept delaying their experiments to show off the plates.

“The son wearing the Hazmat suit would pose as a NASA scientist. But each time the fake test would be postponed with the excuse that the circumstances were not favorable for the right results,” said police investigators, according to The Hindustan Times.

Following their arrest, they were paraded for photographs by the Delhi Police Force wearing their aluminum foil suits. Oh, the shame. People on social media have been having a field day making jokes about the bold yet inevitably doomed scheme.


“How can anyone get conned by these jokers?” one Twitter user asked.

“WTF?? Seriously guys?? Now that's not how you approach casting team of Interstellar 2,” another tweeted.

“This episode confirms we Indians are outstanding salesman,” joked another guy under the photo of the pair.

Remarkably, this was not the first of their fraudulent escapades. There were reportedly already on bail for attempting to sell snakes with “medicinal qualities” for more than $25,000 each. Better luck next time, I guess.


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