Wed, Jul 12, 2006 - Page 7 News List

World News Quick Take


■ China
Olympic con man jailed

A man who conned dozens of farmers out of 2 million yuan (US$250,400) to grow trees he said would be used in the 2008 Olympics has been jailed for 12 years. Liu Lutang duped more than 50 farmers into buy buying maple saplings for 20 yuan (US$2.50) each, promising them he would buy them back at a higher price after six months. Liu convinced the farmers the trees would sprout six to eight branches in a year and that he would pay them 8 yuan (US$1) per branch, the paper said.

■ Hong Kong

Shops to get `smart mirror'

Researchers have come up with the perfect solution for indecisive fashion shoppers -- a magic mirror. The mirror is in fact a screen which recognizes the clothes in hand and displays them on a model on screen so buyers can see exactly what the outfit they have picked from the store looks like. The invention is the work of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University's Institute of Textiles and Clothing. Italian fashion chain Mitu will be the fist to use the smart mirror in Hong Kong in the autumn.

■ Malaysia

Police bust huge drug ring

Malaysian police said they busted a major international drug syndicate yesterday, seizing amphetamines worth nearly US$4 million bound for Australia, Japan and Hong Kong. The director of the Federal Narcotics Department, Najib Abdul Aziz, said 21 people were arrested on Sunday in northern Kedah and Penang states. "It is quite a big group involved with international connections, because they have these members from Taiwan and Hong Kong, and the production is going to be distributed to other parts of the country and the world," Aziz said.

■ Thailand
Cops nab `Dr Ozone'

Police have arrested an Austrian national, dubbed Dr Ozone by the local press, on charges of committing fraud in the suspected killing of an unknown number of Western patients with his "liquid ozone" treatment, police said on yesterday. Hellfried Sartori, 67, was arrested on Sunday in Chiang Mai for allegedly killing an Australian patient by means of the treatment. Australian police alerted their Thai counterparts to Sartori's activities following the death of Kathleen Preston, who died at a Chiang Mai hospital on July 26, last year. An autopsy revealed Preston had a lethal amount of potassium in her blood, and suspected Sartori of injecting the woman with what he called "liquid ozone."

■ India

Farmer calls `ghost busters'

When farmer Sunil Das phoned police claiming that malevolent ghosts were stealing his chickens and torturing him at night, they laughed at what they thought was a joke, the Hindustan Times newspaper reported yesterday. But a judge in the northeastern state of Assam saw little humor in Das' allegation that ghosts controlled by his neighbors were making off with his poultry at night. Instead of laughing, the judge ordered police to get to work and find the culprits, the Times reported. In his complaint, Das accused his neighbors of using their ``obedient but malevolent'' ghosts, ``subjecting me to physical and mental torture,'' it said. Das said his neighbors were notorious for using black magic against people they had a grudge against.

■ Singapore

Officer `aided' impersonator

A policewoman belonging to an elite squad has been charged with helping a male friend impersonate her, news reports said yesterday. Staff Sergeant Ervinna Kuan Sui Khuan, 32, was charged with handing her pistol and 10 bullets to Lai Chin Yeong, 32, on March 22. She was also charged with transmitting a false message to police headquarters on March 25, the Straits Times said, alleging that two Bangladeshi men had taken her gun. Kuan was accused of helping Lai impersonate her by allowing him to use her credit card to buy a S$2,790 (US$1,765) gold chain in March.

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