A community leader says witch doctors are fleeing the country in droves under threat of deportation.

Pratima Nand said witch doctors were established across New Zealand and the scale of their business was bigger than previously acknowledged.

Ms Nand, who helped blow the whistle on Indian witch doctors allegedly conning vulnerable and superstitious people, believed one woman from the Indian community paid a "six-figure" sum to a shaman.

Ms Nand she'd received about ten complaints from people who had believed witch doctors could help with finance, business, love, health and even immigration issues.


Some of these people handed over personal details and photos to the witch doctors.

"There are many more who are not even speaking out for fear of shame and danger...if their identity is found out."

Some of the alleged victims were scared the "priests" could reverse black magic spells, Ms Nand said.

"A lot of people are coming forward now with bigger and bigger stories and worse and worse stories."

Ms Nand said within the last fortnight, one witch doctor had pledged to help a woman but after she forked out $1800 he disappeared. When the "patient" went for a planned follow-up visit, she found the witch doctor's door locked and his business closed.

The patient was now "frantically" trying to retrieve her photo and personal details from the witch doctor, Ms Nand said.

The community leader understood numerous witch doctors had fled in recent days after media exposure and the threat of investigations from immigration authorities.

"I believe they're leaving the country hard and fast now before they get caught."

The witch doctors used superstition, black magic or pseudoscience to "heal" people with various physical or psychological problems.

Ms Nand said the problem had been festering for some time and witch doctors had established themselves in cities outside South Auckland, where the story broke.

"They're in Wellington,. They're in Hamilton. They could be in Christchurch."

Immigration New Zealand said it was in the process of "identifying the individuals concerned" but has not responded to specific questions as they said their investigation was ongoing.

Police have so far left the issue to Immigration authorities because currently, the complaints appeared to be civil disputes.

But if evidence emerged of witch doctors making threats or acting in clearly criminal ways, police could get involved.

"Police are aware of the issue, and welcomes contact from anybody who wishes to provide information if they believe they are a victim of an offence," a police spokesman said.

"We would encourage anyone considering paying money for a service like this to exercise the same cautions as they would for any other service. This means having an informed understanding of the service they are paying for and applying appropriate judgements in any transaction."

Immigration New Zealand previously warned people to look out for vulnerable family members and report any suspicious advertisements by calling the agency on 0508 55 88 55 or anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.