Source AP ©

Indonesian wizards kill those who wish to become wealthy

Police were investigating the deaths of eight poison victims who allegedly died after giving thousands of dollars (euros) to men claiming to be sorcerers, officials said Wednesday.

Six men were detained for questioning in the Lebak district, 100 kilometers (60 kilometers) west of Jakarta, after the bodies of the victims were dug out of shared graves in May and June, said local police chief Lt. Col. Dwi Gunawan.

The victims were allegedly tricked into believing the "wizards" could make them wealthy by taking part in a ritual during which they were instructed to drink a potion.

"The victims were asked to get into a hole after drinking poison," said Gunawan "When the victims collapsed they buried them."

The majority of people in Indonesia, the world's fourth-largest country, are Muslim, but there is also widespread belief in supernatural or animistic powers.

In 1998, an Indonesian court sentenced to death a self-proclaimed sorcerer for strangling 42 women, purportedly in order to strengthen his magic power. The women, aged 12-30, were buried up to their waists and pointed in the direction of their killers' home.