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There has been a surge in cybercrimes in India since the coronavirus health scare, India police reveal as per a Reuters report and of all the scams, the most daring was the unidentified scammer who tried to sell the Statue of Unity, the world’s tallest statue for $4 billion.
The police lodged a case this week against the unknown online fraudster who claimed the proceeds from the sale of the statue would be used to help the government meet its expenses for hospital equipment and medical infrastructure in its fight against coronavirus.
Business Today India reports that the fraudster posted an advertisement for the statue on OLX.
“Some unknown person placed an advertisement on OLX on Saturday stating he needs to sell the Statue of Unity for Rs 30,000 crore to meet the requirement of money to make hospitals and buy healthcare equipment,” a police officer said, quoting the First Information Report (FIR).
Soon after it was posted, the advertisement was taken off the website.
The Statue of Unity is a colossal statue of Indian statesman and independence activist Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel (1875–1950), who was the first Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister of independent India and the chief adherent of Mahatma Gandhi during the non-violent Indian Independence movement. Patel was highly respected for his leadership in uniting 562 princely states of India with a major part of the former British Raj to form the single Union of India.
With a height of (597 ft) 182 metres, the ‘Statue of Unity” is nearly twice the height of New York’s Statue of Liberty.
This is not the first time someone has tried to pull a scam of this magnitude. On two separate but related occasions in 1925, the con artist Victor Lustig “sold” the tower for scrap metal.