Two men have been arrested in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh for allegedly tricking a doctor into buying “Aladdin̵7;s lamps” that they promise to bring him wealth and health.
As part of the hoax, they even pretend to call the spirits from the lamp, matching the story in The Arabian Nights, the Indian press reported.
The men allegedly wanted over $ 200,000 for the lamp but decided to pay down $ 41,600.
A third, female, big suspect.
This doctor is believed to have filed a complaint with local police in Meerut, west of Uttar Pradesh, earlier this week.
In the complaint, cited by NDTV, he said he met two men when he started treating a woman he understood to be their mother for a month.
“Gradually they started telling me about a baba (godfather) that they claimed to have also visited their home. They started brainwashing me and asked me to see this baba,” he said, according to NDTV. Then he met the “baba who seems to perform such rituals”.
He also said that “during a visit to ‘Aladdin’ really appeared in front of me” and it was only then that he realized one of the defendants was dressed as an iconic character.
Other reports in Indian media claimed that the suspects pretended to be associated with the genie, to convince the doctor about the authenticity of the lamp.
The men eventually offered him the lamp, promising it “would bring wealth, health and luck”, for 15,000,000 Indian rupees ($ 201,200) but settled with a low payout of 33,100,000 rupees ($ 41,584).
A senior Meerut policeman, Amit Rai, told NDTV that the same men were suspected of defrauding other families in similar ways. “You two have been arrested. A woman is on the run,” he said.