Thai police arrested a British man Friday after discovering six human babies which had been roasted and wrapped in gold leaf in preparation for a type of black magic ritual, according to reports.
Police said Friday that they found the corpses packed into suitcases in Bangkok's Chinatown on Thursday, the AFP news agency reported. Chow Hok Kuen, a British citizen born in Hong Kong of Taiwanese parents, was being held for possession of human remains.
Kuen had reportedly bought the corpses several days before for 200,000 baht ($6,400) and planned to smuggle them into Taiwan. It was not reported where he bought them, but police speculated it was in Thailand.
Although some media reports indicated that the bodies were fetuses, Wiwat Kumchumnan of Bangkok police's children and women protection unit told Reuters that the bodies were of children "between the ages of two and seven months. Some were found covered in gold leaf."
Kamchamnan told the AFP that Kuen planned to sell the corpses to "clients who believe they will make them lucky and rich."
He faces a fine of 2,000 baht ($64) and up to one year in prison.
Kuen was staying at a hotel in Khao San Road, Bangkok's backpacker area, but that the bodies were found in a separate hotel.
Police had received a tip-off that infant corpses were being offered to wealthy clients through a website advertising black magic services.
Black magic rituals are still practiced in Thailand, where street-side fortune tellers offer ceremonies to reverse bad luck. According to reports, the ritual of enshrining fetuses is practiced in some Chinese communities.
Reuters contributed to this report.
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