The body’s of 100 people have been desecrated by grave robbers in Benin. Authorities believe the tomb raiders dug up bodies in order to sell organs and skulls on the Voodoo black-market. The body parts are used for voodoo ritual fetishes throughout Africa.
The grave-robbing incident occurred in Benin, the West African state that is considered the “world capital” for voodoo worship. Nearly all of the country’s 9 million residents practice some form of the country’s official Voodoo religion.
An investigation was launched in the village of Dangbo after a mason working at the cemetery noticed several masked men digging up graves. The mason soon noticed that skulls and body parts were missing from the bodies that were dug up.
Joseph Afaton, director of the cemetery tells Reuters:
“The desecration of graves is about money in this region. It is for sacrifices, or for bewitching.”
Some people in Africa still believe that body parts can provide them with supernatural powers and they are willing to pay top dollar to procure them. While most body parts come from grave diggers some traffickers have recently been involved in gruesome murders in order to obtain requested body parts.
You may recall a story we ran in September in which five people were arrested after authorities found a severed human head at a checkpoint in Cameroon.
Police are still searching for the men who have not been identified at this time. This is the largest case of grave-robbing reported in the area to date.