Agence France Presse reports that three Seoul men have been arrested for making and selling marked playing cards that can be read with specially designed contact lenses. The three made some popular cards: They had allegedly sold 26,400 of the decks in the span of a year, and their technique was sold to Chinese interests for “handsome sums,” according to Seoul prosecutors.
The prosecutors said the men were also busted for smuggling about 2,000 pairs of the special contact lenses. A brick of the cards sold for about $739 (U.S.). From the story:
The backs of the cards were marked with patterns and figures printed in special fluorescent pigment. These can be read with the special lenses to show what kind of hand another player is holding.
Unreported in any of the stories is the use for which the cards were intended. Derek McGovern of the Mirror assumes they were poker cheats and, although he writes with his snark on full, we’re inclined to believe him. But if the cards were intended for magical purposes, then why hasn’t every magic company in the world been arrested?