Be careful if you go to the Democratic Republic of Congo. You just might lose more than your wallet.
Thirteen people are currently being detained by police after being accused of black magic. Allegedly, they have preyed on men, shrinking their genitals or making them mysteriously disappear. Supposedly, their motivation is extorting money from the victims to "cure" them.
They aren't being held because the police take these accusations seriously: it's for their own safety.
Once someone is labeled a sorcerer guilty of these misdeeds, the locals mob them. There have been several attempted lynchings already. Such occurrences are common in West Africa: nearly a decade ago in Ghana, a dozen people accused of penile thievery were beaten to death.
No matter how illogical it may sound or how many times the irrationality is explained, many villagers take it very seriously. Especially Alain Kalala, 29, of Kinshasa.
"It's real," he said. "Just yesterday here, there was a man who was a victim. We saw. What was left was tiny."
Sure, blame it on a witch doctor.