Wednesday, 16. April 2014
04. 05. 12. - 09:15
Two of Romania's top fortune tellers have been exposed as fraudsters who used Google instead of a crystal ball to gather information on their clients and trick them into parting with tens of thousands of pounds.
Witches Vanessa, 26, and Melissa, 32, claimed to have a hotline to the spirit world that also included providing spells to protect clients from the devil.
But in reality they would use high-tech surveillance equipment to gather data on their customers, which they would then pretend had been transmitted to them from the spirit world via a crystal ball to convince their victims that they really were in touch with the other side.
Victims who were amazed by the women's knowledge of their activities then paid large sums to speak to dead relatives and gain protection from evil forces.
One woman told how she had believed the two Roma women were genuine mystics, and had been persuaded to take tens of thousands of pounds and go to a nearby lake for a midnight ritual. She had been told that she had to release herself from the burden of her money and throw it all in the lake – but when she hesitated a demon like figure had emerged from the water and in a panic – she had thrown the money into the water and run away.
But police discovered that the water devil was in fact a pal of the pair who had put on diving gear and a mask to terrify the unsuspecting victim.
Police said the information gathering activities of the two witches included Googling them, looking at social network sites, tapping phone calls and using hidden cameras.
But a police investigator told local media: "Proof if any was needed they they were fraudsters came when they managed to bribe prosecutor to get the charges dropped, unfortunately the man himself was under surveillance and we arrested all three of them as they handed over the money. If they had been any good – they would have known not to try."
As well as fraud the pair are also facing charges under the National Security Act for using illegal professional surveillance equipment.
What is on at Haydn Kino this week? (17 April - 23 April)
The following films are on at the English language cinema Haydn Kino on Mariahilfestrasse between 10 April and 16 April:
Two teenage girls go missing as they fly from Austria to fight in Syria
Two teenager girls who say they have left Austria to fight in Syria have trigged an international search operation from the Austrian police. The two - a 15-year-old and a 16-year-old - left identical letters behind telling their families goodbye and that "we will meet in in Paradise". The letters told of their plans to go to Syria to "fight for Islam". The parents of the girls reported that their children had gone missing last week and since then the police tracked them to Turkish city of Adana, where they had flown to from Austria - after that the police lost track of the girls. Adana is 75 miles northwest of Aleppo, a city that became a major battleground during the civil war taking place in Syria. Police spokesman Thomas Keiblinger say that the police are taking the farewell letters "very seriously" and are now conducting an international search for two teenage girls who left farewell letters announcing plans to "fight for Islam" in Syria. Both girls come from families who immigrated from Bosnia but have not been fully identified by Austrian police.
Ricky Martin to perform at Life Ball 2014
In a celebrating of joys of life, sensuousness and a tribute to handsomeness, the Life Ball 2014 has announced that the Latino star Ricky Martin, chosen many times over as Sexiest Man Alive, will perform at the event.
Pony And Trapped After Too Much Fresh Grass
A roly-poly pony lost its balance on an Alpine slope due to its calorie-overloaded body.
Vienna prosecutors target Ukrainian former government
Austrian officials have announced they are coordinating with Ukraine's public prosecutors over the investigation of former Ukrainian government officials accused of money-laundering and sanctions violations.
Former footballers charged over match-fixing
Austrian prosecutors have charged former footballer Dominique Taboga over allegations of match-fixing, nearly five months after his connection to the scandal was exposed.
Muslim Brotherhood leader denies move to Graz
A leader of the Islamist political group the Muslim Brotherhood has refuted claims that they are moving their headquarters from London to Graz in Austria.
House Where Hitler Born Painted Blue By Vandals
Austrian police are investigating after the house where Adolf Hitler was born was vandalised with graffiti.
Icelandic artist shoots whole film in front of live audience in Vienna
An Icelandic artist is making a film adaptation of the novel World Light in Vienna - but is carrying out the whole project, including filming, in front of a live studio audience.
Andreas Puelacher replaces Berthold as ski coach
Andreas Puelacher has replaced Mathias Berthold as the head coach of the Austrian men's Alpine ski team.
The most popular stories –
last 7 days
|What are the unions doing to fight unemployment?|
|Glock Pays High Price In Hope Of Olympic Gold|
|Austria encouraged by IEA to tap into shale gas|
|Banks Leave The Sinking Ship And No-One Cares|
|Austrian Grand Prix on the search for 'grid girls'|
Why suffer in silence. Let off steam by letting our readers share your troubles. File your complaints about anything and everything here.
Our ombudsman David Rogers will try and help solve some of the problems from lazy civil servants through to incompetent companies – and at the very least the worst transgressors will end up in our weekly special report.