Tale of a Modern Day Aladdin

Is a genie in a bottle too good to be true?

Tale of a Modern Day Aladdin

Peter Edwards and Eric Lam, Staff Writers

The story of Aladdin tells of a thief, a lamp, and unimaginable wealth. What if such an opportunity was presented in real life? Well, that’s what happened to Dr. Laeek Khan, a man living in the northern region of Uttar Pradesh, India. 

Dr. Khan was approached by two men with a lamp in their hands. According to ourcommunitynow.com, Dr. Khan was led to believe the lamp would “bring him wealth and good fortune.” After purchasing the $40,000 lamp and rubbing it to no avail, he finally approached the police. He filed a complaint against the con artists with local police in Meerut.

According to hyperallergic.com, “He told the police that he first met the two men while treating a woman he thought was their mother. He visited the supposed patient at her house for over a month.” The swindlers gradually started “telling me about a baba [godman] whom they claimed also visited their home,” Khan stated during his complaint. “They started brainwashing me and asked me to meet this baba.”

Later, the doctor said that the crooks “conjured up” a genie from the Aladdin’s lamp for the next part of the trick. On another occasion, one of the con artists even dressed up as Aladdin, trying to sell the story to their victim. After stories and more stories, the fable began to seem real to Dr. Khan. They “kept up claims of the lamp being magical. The con men even went as far as to “make a genie appear,” according to insidethemagic.net

The crooks are now in the custody of the police, and awaiting charges. As it turns out, the thieves had an extensive history of conning, their own family included. They sold the mystic lamp to Dr. Khan for $90,000 worth of Indian currency. One of the thief’s wives is on the run at the time of writing, suspected to be a part of the job as well. 

Don’t be fooled like Dr. Khan. Be careful of offers that may seem too good to be true, and if you are tricked, tell someone.