TORONTO — An Indian man living in Toronto was charged with pretending to practice witchcraft after he allegedly convinced a client to pay him $101,000 to remove an evil spirit.
Toronto police said that Murali Muthyalu — who also went by Master Raghav (= Descendant of Raghu. "According to the Raghuvamsha, he was born to king Dilīpa and his queen Sudakshina. His name in Sanskrit means the fast one, deriving from Raghu's chariot-driving abilities."—Wikipedia) — advertised psychic readings for $20 by handing out business cards in shopping malls and placing them in mailboxes between February and March 2017.
While witchcraft charges are rare in Canada, the law that is mostly considered to be archaic is still regularly enforced. In 2012, a Spanish newspaper publisher in Toronto was charged for the same offence after convincing a woman he could lift her family’s curse.
Under the Criminal Code of Canada, witchcraft is defined by anyone who “pretends to exercise or to use any kind of witchcraft, sorcery, enchantment or conjuration.” Practitioners undertaking “for a consideration, to tell fortunes” are also outlawed by the Criminal Code. While this would mean that all fortune tellers and psychics are acting illegally, it’s possible to beat the charges if the person genuinely believes they have such abilities.
Police would not rule out the chance that there are more victims. (Undoubtedly, there are other victims. As P.T Barnum might have once said, there's a sucker born every minute.)