Holy water 'healer's' luck dries

2010-07-01 09:04

Seoul - A South Korean medical professor who invented a digital device he claimed could transform tap water into holy water is facing fraud charges, Seoul police said on Thursday.

They said the professor claimed to have digitally captured the supposed curative powers of holy water on devices that he sold to more than 5 000 people for a total profit of nearly 1.7 billion won.

Eight other people including the professor's wife and brother-in-law face charges for manufacturing and selling the devices, an officer heading the investigation told AFP on condition of anonymity.

Police said the 53-year-old professor claimed he obtained holy water from the shrine to the Virgin Mary at Lourdes - a world-famous Catholic pilgrimage site in France - and preserved its supposed healing powers in digital form.

He claimed to be able to digitally transfer those powers onto ceramic and paper filters and plastic cards used in water purifiers.

He and his associates allegedly told customers that different devices cured different illnesses including diabetes and tumours.

The professor sold the ceramic filters, which cost 1 500 won in stores, for 40 000 won. Filters for insulin and cancer treatments sold for 90 000 won.