A Hong Kong man has been arrested on suspicion of cruelty to animals after he allegedly killed rabbits, mice and frogs as “sacrifices” in voodoo rituals designed to bring good luck to clients, who paid up to HK$20,000.
Police said on Thursday they arrested a 19-year-old self-proclaimed fortune teller, after a social media account that shared photos of rabbits and white mice being dismembered was flagged to them on Wednesday.
The account, which made its first post at the beginning of August, contained photos of a bloodstained dagger next to dead animals. It claimed that people could pay the account holders to perform rituals, with animals as “offerings” to “make people’s dreams come true.”
Inspector Chen Wenjing, leader of the Sham Shui Po district crime squad, described the photos as “extremely bloody.” She said the force found a dagger and two boxes containing a rabbit and five mice in the man’s backpack. Police also seized bottles of rum, sesame oil and almond oil, which were said to be used during the ceremony.
The animals – which police believed were bought from a pet shop – appeared unhurt. They were handed over to the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
The arrestee is being detained for investigation as police look into his customers to see if anyone “incited or induced” him to treat animals cruelly. Chen said people had paid between HK$10,000 to $20,000 for the sorcery rituals.
“Treating animals cruelly is extremely cold-blooded behaviour. The nature of the crime is also very serious,” Chen said, adding further arrests may be made.
She said the witchcraft was conducted in remote areas, but police were still trying to establish the exact locations.
The Instagram account also offered frogs, scorpions, turtles and snakes as “offerings” for clients who may balk at cuter animals.
It also said people could choose four types of animals or more for sacrifice, claiming that the more animals involved, the “stronger the power” and the “higher chance of success.”
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