MEERUT, India — His money disappeared in a cloud of smoke.
An Indian doctor lost $90,000 when he was duped into buying “Aladdin’s lamp” from a pair of conmen who even conjured up a fake genie to convince him of its magical powers, police said.
Dr. Laeek Khan went to police in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh after he discovered no genie appeared when he rubbed the lamp.
“The cheats had struck a deal for much more but the doctor had paid about seven million rupees ($90,000),” said senior officer Amit Rai. He said the men had been arrested and charges were pending.
In his complaint, Dr. Khan said one of the men had pretended to be an occultist and made a “jinn,” or supernatural figure, appear from the lamp, local media reported. But when Khan asked if he could touch the genie or take the lamp home, they refused, saying it might cause him harm.
Eventually they sold the lamp to him, promising it would bring health, wealth and good fortune. Khan said he later realised the “genie” was actually just one of the men in disguise.
“The men have also cheated other families using the same modus operandi. The total amount of money involved runs into several million rupees,” Rai said.