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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Magic Trick Confiscated in Uganda

KAMPALA, Uganda -- Ugandan police were holding a Ghanaian preacher over a stage magic device that they fear could dupe people into believing they have experienced miracles.

Customs officials seized the Electric Touch device -- which magicians use to give small electric shocks to volunteers -- from "prophet" Obiri Yeboah at an airport, the state-owned New Vision daily reported last week.

The pastor heads one of many Pentecostal churches in Uganda, receiving large sums of money from congregations seeking miracle cures for diseases or help with financial problems.

The Electric Touch device -- which is made by the Yigal Mesika magic company and sells for $199.99, according to the company's web site -- is usually sold in magic shops.

"With a simple touch, make a fluorescent bulb glow on and off at your command, make confetti move, charge a spoon and watch as it shocks a volunteer!" says one online magic shop.

"People could be duped to think it is a miracle," said security chief Herman Owomugisha, the New Vision reported.

Ugandan officials are worried about the proliferation of "miracle" churches, many of which claim to cure HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.

Reuters, MT