Thursday, May 14, 2009

More Fake Magicians

I haven't posted much in the way of news stories lately, so I figure it's about time that I did. I've blogged a number of times about con artists posing as magicians around the world, and sure enough that sort of thing is still going on, this time in Dubai.

A man stole Dh2.5 million from his company and handed it over to an acquaintance who had promised to double the amount through witchcraft, a Dubai Police official told Khaleej Times on Wednesday.

Maybe it's just me, but this would immediately arouse my suspicions no matter how much I believed in the power of magick. Let's say that you have a spell that doubles money. Why not start with a dollar and cast the spell every day for a month, keeping your money in the pool to take advantage of compounding? At the end of 30 days you would have more than half a billion dollars! 2.5 million seems pretty paltry compared to that.

The suspect, a Tunisian national, initially claimed that the money was snatched from his hands by an African man who had sprayed liquid in his eyes as he left a bank branch in Al Baraha.

The police official, who asked not to be named, said CID officers investigating the incident found that the suspect had in fact stolen the money from his company.

This is a pretty flimsy story, so obviously we're not dealing with a criminal mastermind. Was the money supposed to be in a briefcase or something? You couldn't just hold it in your hand. 2.5 million dollars in cash is really heavy - in fact probably too heavy for someone to just grab and run off with, at least quickly.

Three Africans have also been held as police continue their investigations. Claiming to perform witchcraft is a criminal offence under UAE laws.

And this is why what might otherwise be a story of an idiot who got greedy hurts all of us. If I lived in the UAE those same laws would pretty much make a blog like this illegal since I'm out as a practicing magician. I'm not interested in conning anyone, but I do want to be able to practice my system of spirituality without government interference. One more reason to support the separation of church and state here in the United States.

UPDATE: According to Dubai police, 16 people have been arrested in connection with the scam and most of the money has been recovered. It sounds like quite the operation, and I wonder how much it took in before coming to the attention of the authorities.

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