Immigration NZ: Deportation against 'witch doctors' possible

Immigration NZ: Deportation against 'witch doctors' possible

Pressure is mounting on Immigration New Zealand to act against "witch doctors". After a special investigation, 3 News has heard from numerous people in the Indian community who have been duped across the country.

One woman was ordered to front up with $5000.

"I was depressed," she says. "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."

The Kiwi woman of Indian descent is ashamed that, like so many in recent months, she's been sucked in.

Depressed and desperate she sought help, only to be told by her so-called healer she was gravely ill and black magic was to blame.

To get rid of that it'd cost $5000 – pay up, he said, or you may die.

"I use the word extortion. They threaten people."

3 News went undercover to reveal the alarming increase in black magic practitioners arriving from India on tourist or temporary work visas.

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.

Immigration NZ says it is taking it seriously and is investigating at least six practitioners in Auckland and Wellington. Deportation is one option.

Tonight we can reveal another has been working out of a motel in Hamilton. The owner says he moved out a month ago.

Another healer renting premises in Papatoetoe initially told his landlord he was there on a priest visa, but we've now learned he left in a taxi for the airport last month in the middle of the night.

Indian community leaders are now preparing to meet, saying New Zealand is a soft touch.

"I'm getting my community leaders together shortly," says community leader Pratima Nand. "Hopefully the Immigration Minister can ban these people once and for all."

"It's time somebody did something," says Cecil Lochan of the Auckland Regional Ethnic Council. "The mere fact is, how did they enter the country? Under what category did they come? That's the question we shall ask first."

Victims just want to ensure no one else falls into the trap. If you need help, they say to seek out a family friend, doctor or professional counsellor.

3 News