Witch doctors in Uganda have admitted their part in human sacrifice amid concerns that the practice is spreading in the African country.
One man said he had clients who had captured children and taken their blood and body parts to his shrine, while another confessed to killing at least 70 people including his own son.
The latter has now given up the ritual and is campaigning to stamp it out, according to BBC News.
The African country’s government claimed human sacrifice was on the increase.
According to officials trying to tackle it, the crime is directly linked to rising levels of development and prosperity – and an increasing belief that witchcraft can help people get rich quickly.
During its investigation, to be broadcast on Thursday on Radio 4 and Newsnight, the BBC team witnessed anti-sacrifice campaigners torching the shrine of a witch-doctor in northern Uganda, who agreed to give up the practice.
He said clients came to him in search of wealth.
“They go and capture other people’s children. They bring the heart and the blood directly here to take to the spirits,” he said.
“They bring them in small tins and they place these objects under the tree from which the voices of the spirits are coming.”
The witch doctor, who said he was paid 500,000 Ugandan shillings (around £160) for a consultation, denied any direct involvement in murder or incitement to murder, saying his spirits spoke directly to clients.
Moses Binoga, the assistant police commissioner who is head of the Ugandan anti-human sacrifice and trafficking task force, said there were 26 murders thought to be part of ritual sacrifice last year compared with three cases in 2007.
“We also have about 120 children and adults reported missing whose fate we have not traced,” he added. “From the experience of those whom we recovered, we cannot rule out that they may be victims of human sacrifice.”