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Ancient 'monk' scores with phone swindle

A MAN, who, with an accomplice, pretended to be a 108-year-old monk and swindled 1.15 million yuan (US$168,129) from believers over the phone, has been charged by Xuhui District prosecutors.

One of the swindlers hung around shopping malls and hotels, reading the palms of strangers and obtaining personal information. He would then visit them at home and tell them a grave misfortune would befall them.

But during these conversations the now seriously upset strangers would suddenly receive a mysterious phone call from a 100-year-old monk from Jiuhua Mountain in Anhui Province, one of the most famous Buddhist centers in China.

The monk would know of their misfortune but would assure the people that had the power to prevent it from happening as long as they sent money to his bank account.
The monk's magic earned him more than 940,000 yuan with one business manager in Tianjin sending him more than 430,000 yuan in seven deposits. The fortune-teller made more than 210,000 yuan.

Even after the swindlers had been caught, some victims were still forwarding money to their accounts. Both men are from Anhui Province.


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