Diasporian News Thu, 30 Jun 2005

'Witch-Doctor' Jailed For Deceiving Restaurant Owner

Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunai - A 43-year-old citizen of Ghana was sentenced to one-month imprisonment by the Bandar Magistrate's Court yesterday after he pleaded guilty to using sortilege (witchcraft) to deceive an owner of an Arabic food restaurant in Kiulap.

The court heard that the defendant, Ibrahim Mohd Ishak, who came to this country earlier this month, was eating at the restaurant ten days ago where he met the restaurant owner.

The defendant told the restaurant owner that the food outlet was inhabited by "evil spirits" and that he could help ward them of

The defendant said that he also has the ability to acquire wealth with the help of these spirits.

The defendant told the restaurant owner this with the intention to use sortilege to deceive the complainant, Prosecuting Officer Dk Hjh Hana Molina bte Pg Hj Mohammad told the court.


To prove his ability, the defendant asked for a private room and a pot filled with water. The restaurant owner agreed to his request.

In a room above the restaurant, after reciting some Arabic incantations and swirling his hands in the water, the defendant pulled out a US$ 100 note and showed it to the restaurant owner.

The defendant told the restaurant owner to leave the room for awhile. The defendant had deceived the restaurant owner into thinking that the money had come from the water, when in fact he had hidden the money in his hands all along.

When the defendant came out of the room, he asked the restaurant owner if he was interested in making more money in this manner. The restaurant owner, being curious, asked what the defendant would need.

The defendant asked the restaurant owner to provide him with a private room and a special metal box.

Two days later, the defendant accompanied the restaurant owner to buy a metal box. The next day, the defendant contacted the restaurant owner and informed him that he had found a room for rent in a house at Kampong Kiulap. The restaurant owner agreed to pay the $200 monthly rental for the defendant.

On the same day at about 7pm, the defendant contacted the restaurant owner asking him to come and bring US$313 in cash. The restaurant owner brought his wife and brother along.

Upon meeting the defendant, he told them to wait outside the room. The defendant recited some Arabic incantations inside the room. After about 15 minutes, the defendant lied to the restaurant owner, saying that the US$313 was to be placed inside the metal box so that the spirits could multiply the money supernaturally.

The restaurant owner, having been deceived by the defendant, handed over the US $313 to him. The defendant asked all of them to leave and return the next day.

Wary of the defendant's behaviour, the restaurant owner with his wife and brother pretended to leave and parked at a junction near the house.

The restaurant owner and his brother alighted from their car and approached the house. They saw the defendant leaving the house.

They confronted the defendant and asked where he was going. The defendant said that he wanted to go to a mosque to pray.

The restaurant owner asked for his money back but the defendant replied that money had "risen up" with the spirits.

The restaurant owner did not believe the defendant and accused him of deceiving him. The restaurant owner and his brother got hold of the defendant and searched his pockets, in which they found the money.

Source: Borneo Bulletin