DUBAI–An Egyptian man has been arrested in the United Arab Emirates for claiming to be a witch doctor and having magical powers.
The 38-year-old plasterer for a construction company in Abu Dhabi said that he had powers to solve relationship problems, undo curses and ward off the effects of the “evil eye”.
The man, who because of UAE privacy law can only be identified as AA, was alleged to have cheated customers out of as much as US$1,900.
He was caught by Al Ain CID who posed as a punter after receiving a tip-off.
An undercover female officer called the suspect, claiming to have problems in her relationship and asked for his help to restore the intimacy in her marriage.
AA told the woman he could help her relationship by casting a spell for $800.
He asked the officer to bring him some special ingredients so he could make the spell.
According to reports, a police raid on his home revealed books that invoked the presence of jinn (evil spirits), amulets and pieces of deer skin, as well as underwear from his female clients – a necessary part in completing any spell.
Upon arrest, the man confessed to the charges and admitted to defrauding six women in the last five months.
He met his clients in shopping malls and other public areas after they came to him on the recommendation of friends.
AA said he regretted what he had done and claimed that the "the devil was able to manipulate him".
Lt Col Mohammed al Rashdi, the head of the Al Ain CID said he was concerned women in a modern, well-educated and ethical society had been driven to follow such practices that contradicted logic, Islam and the law.