'Power cards' hoax spreads in Khon Kaen | Bangkok Post: learning

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'Power cards' hoax spreads in Khon Kaen

A local resident in Ubol Ratana district, Khon Kaen, shows the "power card" she bought to treat her illnesses and pain. (Photo by Chakrapan Nathanri)

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KHON KAEN: "Power cards" claimed to cure all illnesses have been sold to local residents in some areas of the northeastern province at up to 1,500 baht each.

Sellers told customers that their pains would stop if they placed the cards on the spots. They also claimed other illnesses could be cured if users drank water stirred with a card or placed a cup on it first. Believers then had to pay 1,100-1,500 baht for each card.

Pitoon Chumwaengwapee, pharmacist at Ubolratana Hospital, and health officials went to Ban Saladin village on Wednesday to check the ATM-card-sized products.

"From what I saw, they shouldn't have power to relieve any illness or pain. There is no information on the source of the cards or their sellers," Mr Pitoon said.

Local resident Thawee Pian-in, 57, said he attended a two-day training session that a seller organised at the Khon Kaen Zoo.

"I paid 4,400 baht for five cards... The company said each could be used for 10 years. I placed one on my back and then my chronic back pain was relieved. Then I told my friend and sold him a card," he said.

Nupian Nareejan, the 55-year-old headman of Ban Saladin village, said the "power cards" had been in his village and nearby villages for about two months. Representatives of a company recruited villagers to be their selling agents. They organised training for villagers and many local residents were interested, he said.

"Apart from illness relief, the cards generate income for sellers. My wife bought one from a villager who was a trainee. She used it to treat her pains on the arms and legs and on our child who had constipation. The symptoms were then relieved," Mr Nupian said.

Khon Kaen governor Somsak Jangtrakul said on Thursday that the cards were a fraud.

“I have told police to investigate the matter and find suspects. One of them was identified and will be questioned. There will be decisive legal action,” he said.

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Vocabulary:

believe : being fond and think of something to be right and will follow it - เชื่อใจ,ศรัทธา

chronic (adj): (of a disease, pain or problem) serious and lasting for a long time - เป็นประจำ

constipation : when it is difficult to go to the bathroom (pass stool, poop) - ท้องผูก

cure : to make someone with an illness healthy again - รักษา, รักษาให้หาย

fraud : something (or someone) that deceives people by not being what it seems to be; bogus - ไม่แท้ การโกง การหลอกลวง

headman (noun): village headman, the leader of a village - ผู้ใหญ่บ้าน

hoax : a plan to deceive someone, such as telling the police there is a bomb somewhere when there is not one, or a trick - การหลอกลวง,เล่ห์กระเท่ห์,เล่ห์เหลี่ยม

pain : the feelings that you have in your body when you have been hurt or when you are ill/sick; mental or emotional suffering - ความเจ็บปวด

recruit : to get someone to work in a company or join an organisation - จ้างงาน

source : a place where information comes from; someone who gives information - แหล่ง

symptom : a sign that someone has an illness - อาการ

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