Man claims masseuse 'bewitched' him with 'Vietnamese tea'
A 67-year-old man claimed a masseuse offered him tea that left him displaying unusual behaviour such as showering her with money and presents.
Mr Li, a security guard, told Shin Min Daily News that he visited a massage parlour near his home in Ang Mo Kio for back problems in March this year. There, he met a 40-year-old Vietnamese masseuse who came to work in Singapore in October last year.
Mr Li felt pity for the woman, who had to leave her hometown to make a living and especially after she claimed that her child was sick.
He often exchanged text messages with the woman, adding: "Due to a language barrier, she only understands a little Chinese, so we used translation software to communicate."
Mr Li said he patronised the massage parlour almost every day from March till end-April, during which the masseuse would give him a type of Vietnamese herbal tea.
He claimed that he felt disoriented each time after drinking the tea, to the point that he would listen to everything the masseuse said and kept giving her presents.
"At that time, she told me that the tea would help my back pain.Although I felt relief after drinking it, the effect was not obvious," added Mr Li.
"Instead, I often felt confused. Afterwards, I stopped drinking the tea and finally 'woke up', and found my previous behaviour of non-stop gifting very odd."
According to Mr Li, he had given the masseuse a gold ring, a pair of earrings, and even a bracelet which he had bought from Thailand and worn for almost 20 years.
Both parties were on good terms until end-April, when the masseuse became cold and indifferent. She also refused to serve Mr Li, which left him feeling cheated. Hence, he lodged a police report.
Mr Li said: "During this time, I also gave her lipstick, perfume and bird's nest in addition to gold jewellery. Everything amounted to around $3,000, but now I am seeking only $1,500 back and forgoing the rest."
He also said the masseuse borrowed $2,000 and $500 from him on two occasions in end-March after claiming that her child was ill, adding: "After her attitude changed, I started pursuing the debt. In the end, the massage parlour's lady boss helped her to repay the money."
Mr Li further claimed the masseuse had even wanted to borrow $10,000 to open a massage parlour in Vietnam, but he did not agree to it.
HER SIDE OF THE STORY
However, the masseuse told Shin Min that Mr Li had forced the gifts on her and that the Vietnamese tea was made from ordinary herbs.
She said: "He gave me rings and earrings, but they were all the small kind. I didn't care much and eventually lost them. I send my monthly salary back to my family in Vietnam so I have no way of repaying him."
The masseuse also refuted Mr Li's allegations, adding that the herbal teas, which her mother sent over from Vietnam, are indeed for treating back pain.
She added: "Uncle was very kind to me before, so I wanted to repay him. However, these are just ordinary herbs with no intoxicating effect as he claimed."
As for why she cut off contact with Mr Li, the masseuse said that it was because he kept harassing her and even wanted to marry her.
She explained that she had maintained a good relationship with him as she had just arrived in Singapore for work, plus he was her customer.
She said: "However, he started coming over every day and insisted on giving me presents. He even said he wanted to marry me. When I refused, he lost his temper."
She pointed out she already has a family and Mr Li is also married. Hence, she tried to stop him but was not successful, which made her decide to stop all contact.