A British man has been arrested by the Thai police for having six roasted human fetuses in his luggage. Reports say he intended to sell the fetuses in Taiwan where some believe they would bring luck and wealth.
The man, Chow Hok Kuen, 28 years old and of Taiwanese origin, could have made about $40,000 from the sale, according to a report in the International Business Times. Colonel Wiwat Kamchamnan, of the Bangkok police, was reported as saying the foetuses were probably purchased in Thailand at the cost of around $6,500.
The BBC reported the arresting officer, Lt Col Kittima Thongchai, as saying, "We have to send the bodies for forensic tests to identify whether they were fetuses, removed illegally by abortion, or corpses of babies." The arrest was made after police were tipped off that corpses of babies were being sold through a website advertising black magic. If found guilty, Mr Kuen faces up to one year in prison and a fine of up to $63.
The foetuses are said to have been wrapped in gold leaf which lead the police to suppose that they were meant to be used in a black magic ritual called Guman Thong, which translate to 'golden child'. A traditional Guman Thong is made from the dead baby of a woman who died in childbirth.In the past, monks would cut the baby's body out of the mother', which they had exhumed from the grave, performed a ritual over it and then baked it.
Many people in Thailand nowadays keep an amulet or an effigy of the Guman Thong made out of wood, bronze, plastic or gold as a lucky charm to attract good fortune and protect them from harm. Owners of a golden child are required to carry out certain rituals each day such as making food offerings every day and toys every so often. It is considered that the Guman Thong is a young child in spirit and so behaves as a young child. It is recommended that families with young children not own a Guman Thong as the spirit child may become jealous of the living children to whom love and attention are given.
The practice was first referred to in a fairytale about 500 years ago when, according to thailandamulets.blogspot.com, "Khun Pean had wanted a protective spirit to watch over him in battle. To this end he cut the unborn foetus of his son from his dead wife's womb and took it to a temple to perform an occult rite in which he created the first recorded Guman Thong."
The IBS report maintains that, " The recent arrest has revealed that the ancient, illegal practices are still ongoing, catering to an international black market of the occult."