Last updated: 03:30 PM ET, Wed July 06 2016

Indian Couple Hit With Mount Everest Climbing Fraud Allegations

Features & Advice | Gabe Zaldivar | July 06, 2016

Indian Couple Hit With Mount Everest Climbing Fraud Allegations

Photo courtesy of Thinkstock

Scaling Mount Everest is an extraordinary feat that proves what the human spirit can accomplish amid such trying circumstances. So it’s awful when allegations surface that a celebrated couple may have doctored photos and faked evidence that they accomplished what so few have in climbing the iconic mountain.

According to an AFP report (h/t Mashable), two married police officers who hail from India’s Pune, Dinesh and Tarakeshwari Rathod, allegedly faked evidence that garnered them not only public acclaim but certificates that established them as part of the few that have taken a rare journey on this planet.

The climb in question culminated on May 23. Just a couple weeks later they were met with this kind of social media adulation:

As the report states, Nepal’s tourism department was happy to certify the couple’s accomplishment as a job well done. But slowly and with great fervor allegations began to surface, citing the couple’s altered clothing and questionable photographs that were presented.

After some photographic sleuthing, the bombshell came down that the two likely doctored photographs that purport to show an accomplishment many have died trying to complete.

Nepal tourism official Gyanendra Kumar Shrestha spoke with the AFP and states: “The expedition agency has confirmed that the photos submitted to the department were morphed by the Indian couple in order to get the certificate. The investigation is underway and the investigating committee is likely to unveil its report soon... and recommend punishment to those involved in the fraud.”

AFP spoke with Mohan Lamsal, owner of Makalu Adventures, and it begins to come clear how officials managed to catch the couple in their deception.

Lamsal tells the publication: “We... received photos from another Indian climber claiming that his photos were duplicated. While comparing those photos, we became sure that the photos submitted (by the couple) were fake.”

And when the truth comes out all parties will head for the figurative hills. Lamsal continues, “The two sherpas who assisted the expedition have (also) gone out of reach. We are trying to contact them.”

As the reports state, the couple didn’t exactly break any egregious laws. However, as Mashable notes, the couple may lose their climbing license and get the axe from ever summiting in Nepal again.

The two were out for fame. And in some crazy way they got what they wanted in the form of a much publicized story of climbing fraud.

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