Date
29 March 2017
This man apparently has been plying his trade with impunity. Last year, he pulled the same trick on unsuspecting pedestrians. Photo: YouTube
This man apparently has been plying his trade with impunity. Last year, he pulled the same trick on unsuspecting pedestrians. Photo: YouTube

Fake monk, accomplice busted after selling ‘divine books’

A man posing as a mute Buddhist monk has been busted by police after apparently fleecing bystanders out of money.

He was not arrested but was told by police to pack up his wares and leave, according to Headline Daily.

The man set up a poster and a pull-up banner advertising a “divine book of Chinese horoscopes” in Tai Po market.

Whenever curious pedestrians stopped to check, a female accomplice would emerge from nowhere and pretend to buy a booklet which came with a bracelet.

The purchase would entice the crowd to follow suit.

In one sitting, the duo made more than HK$500 (US$64.50) in an hour.

They moved to different locations twice before being found out. 

In their third set-up, the woman explained to the crowd that the “monk” was a spiritual leader from the mainland.

The book, at HK$20 each, was a bargain, she told passers-by.

When police came, the woman had disappeared.

The man produced a Hong Kong ID and a certificate from Shenzhen’s Hongfa Temple but he could not show proof that he is a monk.

The officers ordered him leave the area, citing obstruction.

A reporter asked the man about the book but got only an angry stare before the latter hurriedly boarded a taxi.

A souvenir shop valued the booklet and the bracelet at no more than HK$3 each.

The same monk plied the same trade in Sham Shui Po in September 2014.

This video was taken from that incident.

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DY/JP/RA

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