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China: Fake Monks Arrested for Swindling Mt. Wutai Tourists

By Larry Habegger and Laurie Weed | Permalink | No Comments | February 20th, 2013 | Trackback

Six people were arrested for impersonating monks and fleecing unsuspecting tourists in the Buddhist complex of Mount Wutai, a popular religious site in northeastern Shanxi. Authorities have closed down two temples where fake monks had been operating, conning visitors into “donating” large sums of cash or paying outrageous fees for temple ceremonies. Tourists should be aware that the “fake monk” scam is not new, nor is it limited to Mount Wutai. Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2009, Mount Wutai is home to 53 Buddhist temples and monasteries, as well as a historic timber building that dates to the Tang Dynasty.

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