Turkey’s very own Del Boy and Rodney have been caught after they defrauded 12 people by selling them ‘gold bars’ that were actually cheap cigarette lighters designed to look like they were real gold bars.
The scam is reported to have taken place on the streets of Bagcilar, a working-class suburban district of Turkey’s largest city Istanbul last week.
CCTV footage seen here shows the two wheeler-dealers loitering on a street, with one of them attempting to sell his alleged gold bullion to passersby.
The suspect reportedly told his would-be customers that the market value of the bars he was flogging was TRY 41,000 (GBP 2,125).
However, what he was actually peddling were gold-coloured cigarette lighters worth a mere TRY 70 (GBP 4) apiece.
The suspects’ modus operandi was for one to flog the bars while the other pretended he was another potential buyer, entering the conversation halfway through.
The second suspect would then hand over TRY 4,000 (GBP 207) for an alleged gold bar, upon which his accomplice would tell the potential buyer: “Don’t miss this opportunity, look, this man has bought it.”
According to reports, the suspects managed to fleece a total of 12 suspects before the cops caught up with them.
They were arrested after their customers, upon realising they had been scammed, reported the pair to the Bagcilar District Police Department.
The prime suspect, identified as a Syrian national, was arrested along with two others in the densely-populated Istanbul district of Uskudaron on Friday, 4th March.
The police seized 17 lighters and TRY 5,400 (GBP 282) from the trio, who stand accused of fraud and remain at the disposal of justice.