Lothian and Borders Police are appealing for information after following a high-value fraud and theft in Edinburgh.
The incident happened sometime after 3pm on Tuesday 15th January in the East End of Princes Street.
A Chinese Buddhist woman had been within the St James Centre earlier in the day when two other Chinese women approached her and discussed the opportunity to meet with a spiritual healer.
After agreeing to meet the healer within the Balmoral Hotel, the 64-year-old was met by a third Chinese female who offered to bless her family’s valuables and cash.
She returned home and gathered large quantities of jewellery and money before placing them in a red bag and meeting all three females at the corner of West Register Street.
Once the items within the bag had been blessed, the woman returned home and was told not to open the bag for a few weeks in order to allow the charm to take effect.
However, after inspecting the contents of her bag a few days later, the victim discovered it had been swapped and her possessions were gone.
Police are now urging anyone who can assist with their enquiries to come forward.
Constable Kris Harvey said:- “The victim has been specifically targeted because of her ethnicity and faith, having been led to believe her valuables were blessed to bring her family good luck.
“She has subsequently been robbed of several thousand pounds of cash and jewellery and has been left devastated as a result.
“All of the females who approached the woman are believed to be involved in this fraud and local enquiries are underway to trace them.
“Anyone who can assist officers with their investigation is asked to contact police immediately.”
Those with information can contact Lothian and Borders Police on 0131 311 3131, or the charity Crimestoppers in complete anonymity on 0800 555 111.