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By Citizen Reporter


45 Ethiopians rescued from Springs house, five suspects arrested

The 45 victims aged between 23 and 50 years have been released to their next of kin.

Organised Crime Investigation members have rescued 45 Ethiopians and arrested five suspects for human trafficking and the sixth suspect for bribery in Springs.

According to Brigadier Brenda Muridili, a team comprising of members from the Provincial Organised Crime Investigations, National Crime Intelligence and Sedibeng TRT operationalised information generated through investigations on human trafficking in Gauteng on Tuesday and pounced on a house in Springs where 45 undocumented Ethiopians were rescued.

The team arrested six suspects and seized a shotgun and ammunition as well as over R300,000 in cash that one of the suspects had brought to the house to bribe the members with.

In January 2022, Gauteng Organised Crime Investigation members arrested Abdi Mohammed Adri and charged him with human trafficking after five undocumented Ethiopian nationals were rescued from a house in Brixton where they were kept against their will.

Adri has since appeared in court and he is currently on bail, he will be appearing again in court on 28 February 2022.

While continuing with investigations on this case, information led the members to the house in Springs, Welgedacht.

“Preliminary investigations on the scene revealed that the property is owned by a South African woman who was renting out the cottage where the Ethiopian victims were kept. The woman’s son is a police officer who is attached to Public Order Policing in Springs, he is also staying in the same yard,” said Muridili.

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Upon the police searching the premises, a shotgun with SAPS issued ammunition was found in one of the rented rooms. The police then went on to search the room where the POP member was staying and found more SAPS issued shotgun ammunition, she added.

“While the police were still processing the crime scene, a man came with a plastic bag full of bank notes and offered the cash to the police. The R329,400 was seized and the man was immediately placed under arrest. Three more men that were identified as the ones that were renting the cottage were also placed under arrest as well as the police officer and his mother.”

All six suspects appeared at the Brixton and Springs Magistrate’s Court on Friday, facing charges that range from human trafficking, possession of unlicensed firearm, possession of ammunition, bribery and defeating the course of justice.

The 45 Ethiopian victims aged between 23 and 50 years have been released to their next of kin.

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