Solicitors arrested in city

The Times-Journal, Canada/December 28, 2006
By Kati Burns

Four people, none originally from the U.S., were arrested in Fort Payne on Saturday for doing door-to-door sales without a business license.

Shigeo Masuda, 26, Erdenesuvd Sambuu, 28, Sudarut Yamubol, 26, and Eijiro Suruga, 27, of Ossingin, N.Y., were all arrested around 7 p.m. on Saturday and charged with operating a business without a license. According to Fort Payne Police reports, the four were going to various houses on Godfrey Avenue in Fort Payne, knocking on doors and attempting to sell jewelry items or were asking for donations.

Fort Payne Police Chief David Walker said all four claimed to be members of HAS-UWC World Seminars, or the Unification Church. They were apparently seeking donations for their church. Walker said the police department received several phone calls from people complaining about the four.

“They were going door-to-door and it was after dark,” Walker said. “They did not have a business license or a permit to solicit sales in our city. We also don’t allow people to go door-to-door after dark. That’s why they were arrested. What we understand from talking to them is that they go from city to city and state to state selling these items and taking donations.”

Walker said the four were all on Godfrey Avenue but were working in different locations. There were two females and two males. Walker said it was a possibility that there could have been more going door-to door than the four who were arrested. Of the four, two listed Japan as their home country and one listed Mongolia. Walker said he believed the group was probably genuine in their claims about working for the church. All four were taken to Fort Payne City jail.

According to Wikipedia, The Unification Church is a new religious movement started by a man called Sun Myung Moon in Korea in the 1940s. Some of its distinctive teachings are that Jesus did not come to die and that the Lord of the Second Coming must be a man born in Korea early in the 20th century who must marry and have children. Members are found in more than 50 countries, with the majority living in South Korea or Japan. Members are estimated to range from 250,000 to 3 million.

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