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Phony crystal ball sales lead to two arrests

Date Posted: 2007-10-29

Two women who sold fake crystal balls to customers who believe in fortune telling have been arrested by Okinawa Prefecture and Kadena Town Police.
The women, who police say are members of the Korean religious group Union Psychic Association, enticed customers by telling them the ¥62,000 crystal balls would improve their futures. In one case involving a48-year-old man, they told him his name in Kanji was bad luck, so he needed the crystal ball in order to have a real future.
In another, this one with a 77-year-old man, the pitch was “Your live is going bad, and it might be coming to an end.” They told him he needed the crystal ball for the future, because “then you will survive.” He paid ¥80,000 for the ball.
When their luck didn’t improve with the newly purchased crystal balls, the men turned to the Prefecture Consumer Life Center and the Okinawa City Offices, who called police. The crystal balls are now at the Consumer Life Center.
Police investigators say the crystal was reasonably authentic looking, but that the women could not produce certifications and payment schedules. They said the religious group members are telling customers “We also do palmistry, where we look at your palms, and we can do name fortune telling.” Officers say the group solicited money for those activities from both their Kadena and Naha City shops.

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