‘Indian-origin witch doctors duping people in New Zealand’

Wellington, July 27 (IANS) The New Zealand immigration department is all set to act against “witch doctors” of Indian-origin after a case of fraud with an Indian-descent woman was recently lodged with the police, a media report said on Monday.

The black magic practitioners, who arrived from India on tourist or temporary work visas, have duped numerous people from the Indian community across the country, revealed New Zealand-based news channel 3 News after an undercover investigation.

Many start with a $20 visit fee and guarantee 100 percent results, before going on to charge thousands to heal or bring back a lost lover, the report added.

“I was depressed. I had a really bad year and I was thinking I should go see a priest. Little did I know he was a witch doctor,” a woman of Indian-descent, who was duped of $5,000, was quoted as saying in the newspaper’s report.

Depressed and desperate, she sought help from a priest.

The so-called healer told her that she was gravely ill and black magic was to blame. He demanded money for help, failing which could cause her death.

“I use the word extortion. They threaten people,” she added.

The immigration officials have taken the matter seriously and are investigating at least six practitioners in Auckland and Wellington and could deport them.

The authorities are now linking up with different community leaders to resolve the matter.

“I am getting my community leaders together shortly. Hopefully, the Immigration minister can ban these people once and for all,” community leader Pratima Nand said.

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