This week a dual citizen of both the UK and Taiwan was arrested in a hotel room in Bangkok’s Chinatown district where police found six male fetuses which had been “…roasted and covered in gold leaf” packed into a suitcase.
Twenty-eight year old Chow Hok Kuen is facing up to a year in prison and a 40 thousand pound fine after he reportedly purchased the fetuses from the internet with the intention of smuggling them into Taiwan to sell them for use in black magic rituals. Kuen told authorities that he had been hired by a man named, Kun Yichen, to go to Bangkok to collect the unborn bodies for $4, 000 the week before, though police are unclear whether Kuen is telling the truth or not.
The unborn male bodies, which were between the ages of two to eight months old, would have been purchased for magical uses. The body of a male fetus in the home would have been displayed with the intention of bringing fortune and protection to the owner. It is not entirely uncommon to find them on shrines or in homes, though more so in modern times the bodies have been replaced with wooden effigies.
“He said he planned to sell the foetuses to clients who believe they will make them lucky and rich,” Col Wiwat Kamhamnan, of Bangkok police, told The Telegraph.
The application of gold leaf to the bodies would have been the last step in a lengthy process believed to bring the owner protection, luck, and would allow the spirit to warn the owner of bad luck. The six bodies found in Bangkok were also adorned with tattoos and religious threads.
This is not the first instance in recent years of such a gruesome discovery. In 2012 the bodies of more than 2000 corpses were found at a temple morgue after having been collected from illegal abortion clinics. Many were arrested and charged and it was believed that the bodies were also being sold for the use in dark magical practices.