Couple arrested for selling 'blessed' Elmo

2012-02-10 12:30
Taipei - A Taiwan couple was arrested after being accused of posing as Tantric Buddhist masters and persuading their believers to buy blessed dolls of the Sesame Street character Elmo to take home and worship, local media reported on Friday.

Lin Pin, aged 56, and Yang Mei-chiao, aged 53, were taken into custody on Wednesday on charges of fraud, the Apple Daily newspaper said.

The couple ran a Buddhist shrine in Taoyuan county with Lin allegedly claiming he was a high-ranking Buddhist monk in a previous life and had powers to heal the sick.

Police said they confiscated Elmo dolls, holy water and elixir pills that the couple sold to their more than 100 followers.

The authorities also found accounting records showing the suspects collected $3.4m from their activities, police said.

A local businessman, named only as Tsai, tipped off police after claiming he gave them $240 000 over 10 years to use their powers to heal his cerebral palsy-stricken daughter and improve his construction business.

Tsai said he spent $34 000 on a saintly Elmo and paid for the couple to travel abroad to bring him a wandering god to protect his family.

He decided to report them to police when his daughter's condition did not improve and his business lost a lot of money.

Read more on:    taiwan

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.