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Fake “yogi’ nabbed by cops

Legacy Phuket Gazette



PHUKET: A 35-year-old Indian Sikh is in police custody after allegedly tricking villagers in Surin Province into believing he was a yogi with magic powers.

Balvinder Singh extracted thousands of baht from at least five believers to “cleanse” them of their bad karma, police say.

Mr Singh was arrested while he performed a “magical” ceremony for “Mr Ek”, a 31-year-old Thai whose name has been changed to protect his identity.

Mr Ek told police he paid the Indian 2,000 baht to fix his bad karma.

Mr Singh told Mr Ek that he was being followed around by the spirit of a young child. Mr Ek believed Mr Singh was telling the truth because his wife had had an abortion.

He was also aware that the Indian had performed such ceremonies for other Thai people, and thus asked him to do the same for him.

Mr Singh told Mr Ek to rip a piece of paper into three pieces. The “yogi” then crumpled up the pieces and placed them in Mr Ek’s navel. Then he started chanting an incantation. When he pulled the paper out again, it appeared to have magically fused back into a single sheet.

This led Mr Ek to believe Mr Singh really did have special abilities.

Mr Singh then soaked the sheet in some water. The figure of a young girl appeared on the surface of the paper.

Mr Singh then pulled out an envelope and told his amazed victim to put 1,990 baht in it.

Mr Singh said he would use the money to buy the girl’s spirit certain items, which he would use in ceremonies that he would perform in three different cemeteries. The ceremonies would allow the girl to be reborn into the world, he claimed.

Mr Ek said that throughout the ceremony he felt like he was under a spell. He felt like he had to obey everything the Indian man said, and that he couldn’t control himself.

But when the immigration police burst into the scene, Mr Ek snapped out of it.

Police investigation revealed that Mr Singh had performed the same kind of ceremony on about five other people, charging them 1,500 to 2,000 baht each for his “magic”.

Mr Singh is being charged with fraud and entering the Kingdom of Thailand illegally.

— Sanook


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Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

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