Chinese Buddhist woman robbed in Edinburgh blessing fraud
A Buddhist gave jewellery and money to three fellow Chinese women to be blessed - only to find her sacred possessions had been spirited away.
The fraud, which took place about 15:00 on Tuesday 15 January at the east end of Princes Street, Edinburgh, has led to a police appeal for information.
Two women approached the 64-year-old in St James Centre and discussed setting up a meeting with a spiritual healer.
She handed over thousands of pounds of family valuables at the Balmoral Hotel.
Constable Kris Harvey, from Lothian and Borders Police, said: "The victim has been specifically targeted because of her ethnicity and faith, having been led to believe her valuables were blessed to bring her family good luck.
Items placed in red bag
"She has subsequently been robbed of several thousand pounds of cash and jewellery and has been left devastated as a result.
"All of the females who approached the woman are believed to be involved in this fraud and local enquiries are underway to trace them."
After the victim agreed to meet the healer at the hotel, the third Chinese female offered to bless her family's valuables and cash.
The 64-year-old returned home to gather large quantities of jewellery and money before placing them in a red bag and meeting all three females at the corner of West Register Street.
Once the items within the bag had been blessed, the woman returned home, having been told not to open the bag for a few weeks in order to allow the charm to take effect.
However, after inspecting the contents of her bag a few days later, the victim discovered it had been swapped and her possessions were gone.