China / Society

7 suspects arrested after impersonating Shaolin monks

By SU ZHOU ( Updated: 2014-07-01 17:06

Seven suspects have been arrested for swindling more than 160,000 yuan ($25,787) out of tourists at a scenic spot containing the Shaolin Temple in Henan province, Zhengzhou Evening News reported.

The seven dressed as Shaolin Temple monks and gave away stones they claimed were auspicious. After tourists accepted the stones, the fake monks gave advice on ominous signs, mostly related to the tourists' families. The tourists had to give "donations" rid themselves of the bad luck.

The fake monks chose to walk around far from the temple so the real monks would not warn tourists they were not authentic.

Local police collected seven notebooks from the suspects, in which they had their victims record their information. Nearly 100 tourists were cheated more than 160,000 yuan, according to the records.

The Shaolin Temple in Songshan, Henan province, is famous for its history of both Buddhism and kung fu, and attracts millions of tourists every year. However, the local tourism industry has been tainted by frauds purporting to be related to Buddhism.

In 2010, the Shaolin Temple released an announcement that none of its monks would perform kung fu, tell fortunes, ask for money or sell medicine outside the temple grounds.

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