TOKYO (TR) – A Chinese national was arrested for allegedly posing as a monk and selling charms to tourists, claiming to need donations, reports the Sankei Shimbun (Apr. 11).
Between February and March, Chen Xianlou, 54, allegedly sold Chinese currency (valued at around one yen per note) and rosary beads to 10 foreign tourists for a total of around 20,000 yen at such places as Ueno Park in Taito Ward, JR Akihabara Station (Chiyoda) and the Harajuku district (Shibuya) while residing in Japan on a short-term permit that prohibits earning money.
In carrying out the ruse, the suspect told the foreign tourists that he needed “help to build a temple.”
Xianlou, who has been charged with violating the Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act, has admitted to the charges, telling police he “sold things pretending to be a monk to earn money to buy food.”
At least four or five other Chinese male nationals have also been gathering money using the same method, according to police investigating the case as a possible organized crime.