TANGKAK, MALAYSIA - A medium told a family of five here that they needed to change their names to enjoy good fortune - but he only had his own prosperity in mind, and absconded with more than RM50,000 of their money.
The man, in his 50s, has since been arrested after reports were lodged against him in Johor and Selangor by other victims.
It is learnt that in the case in Johor, the medium - who also claimed to be a doctor - visited the family and said they had been hit by bad luck, so they must change their names to reverse their fortunes.
"The medium also prepared 'documents' for them to change their names with the National Registration Department," sources said, adding that the family comprised a couple and three children.
The sources said the medium asked for more than RM50,000(S$15,885) to conduct prayers over 100 days in India.
However, the family suspected something amiss when they were unable to contact him later. They then lodged a report.
Tangkak police tracked down the suspect and arrested him in Bandar Kinrara several days ago.
OCPD Supt Mohad Idris Samsuri confirmed the arrest and said the investigation was ongoing.
He urged anyone with information on the case to contact the police hotline at 07-221 2999.
In an unrelated case, police have launched a manhunt for a rogue security operations officer who took more than RM600,000 from a security company's vault a few days ago.
It is learnt that the suspect, in his 50s, stole at least two bags of money collected from the state Immigration Department.
The theft was discovered during a routine inspection at the security company's office in Taman Impian in Skudai.
Sources said the suspect was seen on CCTV footage leaving the office with two bags of money from the strongroom.
The company manager then lodged a police report.
The case is being investigated under Section 408 of the Penal Code for criminal breach of trust.