Talk about getting hustled. An Indian doctor was conned into paying $41,000 for Aladdin’s lamp he thought was real, reports the BBC. Dr. LA Khan of India thought the lamp would bring him wealth and health. The three conmen wanted $200,000 but only got $41,000 for the fake lamp. Two men, Ikramuddin and Anees, have been arrested for finessing the doctor but one woman suspect remains at large. Police believe the cons have hustled more families in a similar way out of their money.
“We have found the same men went to other homes in the city too and cheated many families in the name of ‘tantra vidya,'” the senior Meerut police official, Amit Rai said, reports NDTV. “We have found the involvement of three people so far. Two have been arrested. A woman is on the run.”
Interestingly enough, during the hustle, the conmen pretended to conjure up spirits and a genie from the lamp. The doctor even said on one visit that Aladdin actually showed up but he later found out it was just one of the conmen dressed up in costume.
“During one visit “Aladdin” actually made an appearance in front of me,” he said. “I did not know who this person was at that time. I later realised (one of) the accused was dressing up as Aladdin.”
The doctor came into contact with the cons when he began treating a woman he thought was their “ailing mother,” reports NDTV. However, during her treatment, the cons started talking about baba (godman) and how the doctor could meet him.
“I started visiting their home to treat the supposed mother. The visits continued for over a month. Gradually they started telling me about a baba (godman) whom they claimed also visited their home,” he said. “They started brainwashing me and asked me to meet this baba.”
Dr. Khan said he met a baba who performed rituals. Once the doctor was hooked the cons offered to sell him Aladdin’s lamp for $201,000. But the doctor ended up paying $41,584 for the lamp.
It’s unsure how many times Dr. Khan rubbed that lamp until he realized he was duped. But, eventually, he went and filed a police report at Meerut in western Uttar Pradesh leading to the arrest of two men and the seizing of a massive gold-colored lamp.