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September 5, 2009

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Masseuse suffers double jeopardy

A GULLIBLE masseuse lost her life savings and 20,000 yuan (US$2,900) she had borrowed when she fell for a simple conjuring trick by one of her clients, Huangpu District police said yesterday.

The suspect, Cheng Ming, 45, was brought back to Shanghai on Thursday from his hometown in southwest China's Chongqing Municipality, police said.

Police said they had recovered the entire 43,000 yuan he is alleged to have swindled from 30-year-old masseuse Wang, who worked in a sauna on Hankou Road.

Cheng used sleight of hand to make Wang believe that he had turned a 5-yuan note into a 10-yuan note.

Wang, who had endured a tough upbringing in Yunnan Province, was so impressed that she believed Cheng could double her money.

The next day, on July 5, Wang brought Cheng a bag containing 43,000 yuan - her entire savings, including 20,000 yuan that she borrowed from friends, said a police officer surnamed Shen.

Cheng performed "some mumbo-jumbo" over the bag and told her not to open it until the following day.

However, police said, he switched the real money for worthless paper and fled.


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