Diviner fakes own kidnap after cheating scores in scams

Diviner fakes own kidnap after cheating scores in scams

Used as the poster boy of fraud schemes that cheated scores of people, a water diviner allegedly staged his own abduction to get away from investors. 

Used as the poster boy of fraud schemes that cheated scores of people, a water diviner allegedly staged his own abduction to get away from investors. 

Ramachandrachari, 65, who called himself "a seniormost water diviner" in Chudenahalli village, Anekal, had partnered a group of six conmen to cheat gullible villagers and make a fast buck. The plan was to seek investments in a treasure hunt scheme that could earn a "fortune in government incentives". 

The gang initially solicited Ramachandrachari's water divining expertise to locate a hidden treasure. They later started the rice puller scam. Rice puller refers to any antique metal object which can magically pull rice grains. A rice puller is made copper alloys or iridium. Scammers use unimposing illusionist techniques to show how these objects work. 

The gang sold rice pullers to the villagers and convinced them to make large investments. They even opened bank accounts in the villagers' names, saying the government will directly transfer the money to them. 

The gang used Ramachandrachari to market both the hidden treasure and rice puller schemes. Their tricks worked: more than 100 villagers invested in the schemes. Flush with cash, the gang suitably rewarded Ramachandrachari. He used the money to buy a site and a car three months ago. 

The scam started to unravel when the villagers confronted Ramachandrachari about the elusive returns. The diviner and the whole gang then disappeared. 

The cheating came to light when Ramachandrachari's son Gangaraju approached the Anekal police on January 13, saying his father was kidnapped on December 24, 2018, when he went out to meet a man named Venkatesh, a member of the gang. 

Preliminary investigations, however, show Ramachandrachari staged his own kidnap. Police are hunting for the suspects.

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