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Woman conned out of thousands by mysterious Chinese gang in Manchester using elaborate ‘Dr Wong’ scam

By Glen Keogh

A mysterious trio of Chinese women exploited the superstitious nature of their own culture when they conned a woman out of thousands of pounds by saying her valuables were needed for a ritual to protect her ‘dying’ husband.

The 40-year-old Chinese victim was stopped in St. Ann’s Square on Saturday February 23 between 11.45am and 2.45pm by a woman asking for her help to find an herbalist known as Dr Wong.

Soon, a second woman appeared claiming she might be able to find the doctor.

Then a third woman joined the group claiming she was the granddaughter of Dr Wong and that he was not available on that day, but she would speak to him on the behalf of the women before leaving.

After a few minutes she re-joined the group and told the unsuspecting woman that her husband would die within three days – and she had to gather as many of her valuables as possible so a ritual could be performed to protect her.

The woman returned with £2000 in cash and jewellery valued at £600 which was placed in a black bag while the ritual was performed – but at some point the bag was switched.

Despite being told to go home and not open the bag for at least a month, the woman opened it several days later and saw all her valuables had been replaced by bottles of water placed in newspaper.

Unsurprisingly, the claim about her husband was completely false and he had no known illness.

Detective Constable Michelle Wilkinson from the Economic Crime Desk at Greater Manchester Police said: “This is not the first time this type of incident has happened and it would appear that the offenders are deliberately targeting their own community by taking advantage of their trusting and superstitious nature.

Similar incidents are being investigated where money and jewellery was also stolen and replaced with drinks bottles on December 21 and 28 last year and February 18 of this year.

The gang were Chinese women of medium build aged in their early 40s.

DC Wilkinson added: “Our advice to anyone who is approached by these women is not to talk to them or have any form of engagement.

“While out and about in town keep valuables close and never hand them over to a stranger. If you still feel unsafe make your way to a nearby shop and ask for help.”

Anyone with information on the crimes is asked to contact the police on 101 or ring Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Picture courtesy of pandrcutts, with thanks.

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