Briton had case full of foetuses to be used in black magic ritual
A British man has been arrested in Thailand after being found with six foetuses that had been roasted and covered in gold leaf as part of a black magic spirit ritual.
The corpses of the unborn baby boys were found packed in a suitcase in his hotel room in Bangkok's Chinatown district.
"The bodies are of children between the ages of two and seven months. Some were found covered in gold leaf," Wiwat Kumchumnan, sub-division chief of the police's Children and Women Protection unit.
Chow Hok Kuen (28), who holds a British passport but is of Taiwanese origin, confessed to police that he had bought the foetuses several days earlier for almost £4,000 (€4,970). The source of the foetuses is unclear.
He said he intended to smuggle them to Taiwan where they would be sold for as much as six times what he paid on the internet to people who believe that their possession would bring wealth and good luck.
The man told police that he was hired by another Taiwanese man, named Kun Yichen, who regularly travelled to Thailand to collect the ritualistic foetuses. Worship of the foetuses -- observed by some in the Chinese community -- is a Buddhist-animist practice known as Kuman Thong that is described in ancient Thai manuscripts.
In Thai black magic rituals, also observed among some Chinese communities, preserved foetuses are believed to bring good fortune.
It required male foetuses surgically removed from the womb that were then dried as black magic incantations were said over the body, before it was covered in gold leaf.
Lore has it that if the owner reveres the ritual foetus, its spirit will warn and protect its possessor of danger.
Chow Hok Kuen faces up to a year in jail and a fine of £40 (€49) for possession of the foetuses, which police said showed development of between two and eight months.
Officers made the gruesome discovery in the hotel in the Yaowarat district of Bangkok, where they found that the foetuses had also been tattooed and were adorned with religious threads.
Col Wiwat Kamhamnan, of Bangkok police, said: "He said he planned to sell the foetuses to clients who believe they will make them lucky and rich."
Black magic rituals are still practised in Thailand, where street-side fortune tellers offer ceremonies to reverse bad luck. (© Daily Telegraph, London)