100+ men found locked up in Primrose house possibly victims of human trafficking

Seven men were transported to hospital for severe dehydration.

More than 100 men, described by Primrose CPF chairperson as victims of human trafficking, were found locked up inside a house on School Avenue, Primrose in Germiston during a raid on September 1 at about 10:00.

Brigadier Thandi Mbambo, national spokesperson for the Hawks, said she is not able to confirm that a case of human trafficking is being investigated.

“I can confirm we are looking into the possibility of this being human trafficking. We also understand that the men were found living in poor conditions,” said Mbambo.

No further information has been forthcoming from police authorities, however Primrose CPF chairperson Tracy Enslin told Germiston City News the men were all Ethiopian except for four Malawians.

“The youngest is about 10 years old. They had been living in terrible conditions and were locked up inside that house.

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“They had no facilities, used buckets for toilets, there were no beds and some of them had to share blankets – if they had any,” said Enslin.

She said the house was raided as a result of investigations following information received by Germiston Crime Intelligence Unit.

“The raid was executed by Germiston crime intelligence officers, Hawks and Primrose SAPS.”

“They received medical assessments and seven were subsequently transported to hospital.

“Many of them are underweight and those taken to hospital were severely dehydrated,” said Enslin.

“The rest are at Primrose Police Station where they are very comfortable. The community members and businesses of Primrose have been amazing as we received great support in terms of donations of food and assistance.

“I was at the station again today and they seem comfortable and we also cooked meals for them today,” said Enslin.

“They cannot speak English. I commend all the officers on the scene who treated these men with great compassion – they are victims,” said Enslin.

A police source told GCN that investigators have contacted translators to interview the men.

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