Witch doctors operating in South Auckland are using "evil things to do evil acts" to vulnerable people, an Indian community leader says.
Immigration New Zealand today confirmed it was investigating several people who, it said, appeared to be involved in black magic in South Auckland.
A spokesperson said it could not comment further while an investigation was ongoing but warned anyone receiving money for witch doctor-type activities would be breaching their visa conditions.
"We would strongly encourage people not to be taken in by anyone offering these types of services - they cannot help you, all they are interested in is their own financial gain."
Indian community leader Pratima Nand told Afternoons witch doctors were renting rooms in the Manurewa, Papatoetoe and Otahuhu areas, where there were big Indian populations, and advertising mostly on Indian radio stations and in Indian newspapers.
They offered cures for 12 to 15 different types of ailments or problems, and gave a 100 percent guarantee.
"If you've lost your lover, bring your lover back, physical problems, bad dreams, any other solutions that you are faced with," Ms Nand said.
"They're trying to entice people and suck money out of them.
"They're using evil things to do evil acts to create hope in these vulnerable people who are for one reason or another looking for solutions to their problems and before they know it, they have been enticed fully by these people and they just prolong the procedure and in prolonging that procedure, a lot of money is being sucked away from these people, with no end result."
Ms Nand went undercover to set up one couple, telling them she and her husband had separated 17 years ago and she desperately wanted him back.
They took a $20 deposit and told her there was "very strong black magic tied to your husband, the prayer will take five days". It cost $450.
When she queried why her husband had not returned after five days, she was told nine prayers were needed, that a guru in India needed to be involved - and this would cost her more.
Ms Nand said the witch doctors were scammers but the police would not take responsibility for the problem, instead referring it to Immigration New Zealand.
The Immigration spokesperson said they encouraged anyone with information on those involved to contact it.