Nothing less than $20 for 'monk'

Nothing less than $20 for 'monk'

Bogus monks have been seen here from as early as 2004.

Typically from Thailand and China, they are believed to be from a syndicate, although there are also those who operate solo.

Last month, a netizen told citizen journalism site Stomp that he spotted a monk approaching tourists for money along the Singapore River.

Donning a grey robe, the man demanded for a minimum donation of $20 and rejected smaller sums of money.

He is believed to have been from China.

The fake monk would show potential donors a list of amounts to donate and also offered small change.

Hired Fake Monks

The problem of monks targeting tourists isn't a new one.

In February, two temples in northern China were shut down and six people were detained after they reportedly hired fake monks.

These men would con tourists into buying expensive incense and paying unreasonable amounts of money for ceremonies.

Last year, the government's religious affairs office called for a ban on profiteering related to religious activity.

Religious venues were also not allowed to be run as business ventures.

The temples were located at the scenic Mount Wutai, which is on Unesco's World Heritage List.

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