An open-air market in Avondale, a suburb of the Zimbabwe capital Harare, July 17, 2008. REUTERS

Zimbabwean police believe there is a syndicate of women who are raping men to use their semen in rituals that claim to make people wealthy.

According to a BBC News Africa report, it took the police over a year to finally arrest some of the women with three now set to go on trial in Harare, the country's capital on Monday.

The report says one of the victims, speaking on condition of anonymity told of his ordeal on national television in July. The man said the incident happened after a group of women offered him a lift in Harare.

"One of the women threw water in my face and injected me with something that gave me strong sexual desire", the victim reportedly said.

"They stopped the car and made me have sex with each of them several times, using condoms. When they had finished they left me in the bush totally naked."

The man was finally rescued after some people called the police, and he was taken to hospital to mend the effects of the drug, "as the urge to have sex was still there".

The BBC reports now revealed that the three women arrested have been charged on 17 counts of aggravated indecent assault as Zimbabwean law does not recognise the act of a woman raping a man.

The women were reportedly arrested after police officers found more than 30 used condoms in a vehicle they were traveling in.

The accused deny the charges, saying they are prostitutes and were too busy at the time to dispose of the condoms.

However police reportedly told the BBC they believe there is a syndicate operating nationwide and revealed they have received similar reports from "around the country".

It is believed the semen is being used in rituals aiming at improving financial wealth, but other reports suggest the semen could be taken and sold outside of the country.