Dhaka (AFP) - A family in Bangladesh has been arrested after using a fake penis to trick villagers into believing a genie had performed a sex change on their teenage daughter, police said Wednesday.
Villagers in southern Bangladesh rushed to the family's home seeking miracle cures after hearing the genie had changed the girl's sex and performed a circumcision as proof.
But police smelled a scam, and took the 15-year-old to a hospital for an examination.
"A doctor examined the teenager and discovered a fake penis tied to her waist," Monzur Murshed, the local police chief, told AFP.
"The girl and her parents have set up a profitable business promising to heal people with a genie."
As news spread that the girl had not only been transformed but undergone a mystical circumcision, villagers flocked to seek the genie's intervention with their own medical woes, Murshed added.
The three will be charged with fraud and prosecuted, police say.
Roughly 90 percent Bangladesh's 160 million people are Muslims, who believe in the existence of djinns, or genies.
Many Bangladeshi healers claim they can communicate and befriend these magical beings, or possess the powers to bottle evil spirits.
Gullible villagers pay to seek the divine intervention of genies to fix their medical problems or marital issues.