Taipei-Keelung police said Wednesday they have arrested an American man suspected of swindling money from Taiwanese by means of a scheme that involved the use of a "magic liquid."
The suspect allegedly was contacting people via social media or at churches and convincing them to join with him to buy a "magic liquid" that cost US$120,000, according to the Keelung City Police Bureau.
The line used by the suspect was that he had found big stash of U.S. dollars when he was serving as a U.S. army commander in the Middle East at a time when people there used to blacken their money to avoid robbery, the police said.
With the use of the "magic liquid," the black coating could be removed from the money, the suspect was saying, according to the police.
With the help of Taiwanese and African accomplices, the suspect was able to swindle some NT$10 million (US$332,000) from people around the country over the past few years, the police said.
The so-called blackened money in fact was paper painted with a mixture of starch and iodine, which can be removed with a slightly acidic solution, Keelung Police Division Chief Huang Po-ming (???) said.
Based on information obtained during police investigation over a long-term period, the suspect was arrested Tuesday at Ruifang railway station in New Taipei, where he had a rendezvous with potential victim, police said.
Meanwhile, his accomplices were arrested at five different locations in New Taipei and Taipei the same day, the police said.
After being questioned at the police bureau, the suspects were turned over to the Keelung District Prosecutors Office.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel