Vizianagaram: The Vizianagaram police arrested four persons of a gang on 17 December for allegedly duping people by selling them metal that would bring them luck. The gang had duped two persons in Nellimarla of Vizianagaram district to the tune of over Rs. 25 lakhs by convincing them that the metal (copper iridium) had magical properties.

The arrested have been identified as Keerthi Lakshmana Rao (32), Dasari Srinivas (59), Chandaka Venkata Rao (54), and Pativada Appa Rao (54). All are from the Nellimarla and Pusapatirega area in Vizianagaram. The police are looking for one more person involved in the scam.

The DSP of Vizianagaram, P. Anil, said the gang was involved in the rice-pulling scam. They asked people to invest in the machines or vessels made of copper-iridium which they claim carries magical properties and is valuable for its magnetic power. They go about demonstrating this quality by pulling rice. In reality, pulling the rice is a trick involving mixing the grains with iron particles.

P. Srinivasa Rao of Srikakulam alerted the police about the gang that was cheating people by claiming that the magic metal is worth several crores. The police have started an investigation.

Meanwhile, some people had already paid money to the gang. However, they became suspicious when they asked for more money. It was then that they approached the police. The police laid a trap and nabbed four of the five-member gang and recovered Rs. 3 lakh cash, three bikes, four mobile phones, and some "magic" metals.

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