18 Nov 2014

Arrests in Vanuatu over 'black magic' hangings

2:20 pm on 18 November 2014

Church pastors and custom chiefs of Akham Island in Vanuatu have been arrested for allegedly ordering the hanging of two men for practicing black magic.

Santo, Vanuatu

Santo, Vanuatu Photo: RNZ / Johnny Blades

According to the Daily Post, the Deputy Commissioner of Police, John Taleo, has described the killings as brutal and unlawful murders.

Mr Taleo says the 67 and 40-year old victims were related and police suspect others from the area who live in the capital Port Vila were also involved.

Pastors alleged the pair were responsible for a number of deaths on the island.

The killings were reportedly carried out in the presence of the public, including children.

Police have rounded up 40 suspects in connection with the killings