UK

Briton 'with foetuses' arrested in Thailand

  • 18 May 2012
  • From the section UK
Locator map of Bangkok in Thailand

A British citizen has been arrested in Bangkok after "six foetuses wrapped in gold leaf" were found in a hotel, Thai police have said.

Hong Kong-born Chow Hok Kuen, 28, was arrested in the city's Chinatown area and has been released on bail.

Thai police said the bodies, thought to have been used in a black magic ritual, were packed in travel bags and were beyond recognition.

It was not clear where the bodies came from.

Lt Col Kittima Thongchai, the police officer who made the arrest, said the bodies were so dried up that it was not possible to make out whether they were foetuses or babies.

"We have to send the bodies for forensic test to identify whether they were foetuses, removed illegally by abortion, or corpses of babies," she told the BBC.

Mr Kuen was arrested after a tip-off that baby corpses were being sold through a website "advertising black magic", according to the Reuters news agency.

'Bad luck'

Black magic rituals are prevalent in Thailand, where faith healers organise ceremonies to reverse bad luck.

Lt Col Kittima said: "Some believers keep foetuses and bodies of babies wrapped in gold leaf at home to bring good luck. They believe that young babies and foetuses have good spirit."

Mr Kuen faces up to one year in prison and a fine of up to 2,000 Thai Baht ($63; £40) if found guilty.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has said it is aware of the arrest of a British national in Bangkok on 18 May.

An FCO spokesperson said: "We stand ready to provide consular assistance."

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