Around 300 mainlanders have come to Hong Kong to file complaints against a fake “living Buddha” who they say has swindled them of millions of dollars by promising to cure their illnesses, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.
Legislator Edward Lau Kwok-fan of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment of Hong Kong (DAB), who is assisting the group, estimated that there could be more than 600 victims of the Chan Po-sang, who claims to be a Tibetan Buddhist monk and a living Buddha.
The complainants, some of whom claim to have been sexually abused by the suspect, staged a protest from Admiralty to the Wan Chai Police Station on Tuesday.
They held up placards and banners saying “fake living Buddha”, “religious scam” and “devoid of conscience”, referring to Chan and his alleged fraud.
A woman from Tianjin surnamed Lu told reporters that she had been introduced to Chan in 2011, and had flown to Hong Kong, Taiwan and even France to learn Buddhism from him.
She said Chan was able to deceive her because he looked like a “very godly” person.
Every time they met, she said, she had to give him red packets of money as proof of her belief. She said she sometimes even had to borrow money from friends to buy “treasure bags” from Chan, which turned out to contain nothing but a few coins and beans.
Lu said she had so far given him 200,000 yuan (US$30,000) in exchange for his “blessings”.
A man from Guangzhou said he started following Chan after a friend told him that the “living Buddha” could cure all sorts of illnesses, including cancer.
Once he complained that Chan’s “blessings” were not having any effect on him, but his friend reprimanded him for not having enough faith.
By then he had also spent all his money on Chan’s “pills” and his wife nearly divorced him.
The pills were actual medicines sold for 20 yuan a piece, but Chan sold them for as much as 1,250 yuan each.
Lau and fellow DAB legislator Ann Chiang Lai-wan said they are assisting the victims in their case because they don’t want Hong Kong to be known as a “scamming city”.
Lau said that it is very likely that Chan has left Hong Kong and is now living in Thailand or Taiwan.
He urged Hong Kong Police to coordinate with the Interpol to have Chan on the international wanted list.
As of June 15, police have received complaints against Chan from 36 men and 120 women, stating that the man has been claiming to be able to cure them of their diseases for money between 2004 and 2016.
Police estimated that the victims have lost about HK$44.7 million to Chan.
The case is now being handled by the Wan Chai Regional Crime Unit.
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