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By Faizel Patel

Senior Digital Journalist


Gauteng police rescue trafficking victims held captive in Pretoria

Gift of the Givers has also made its final passionate attempt to convince al- Qaeda to release South African paramedic Gerco van Deventer.


Gauteng police have rescued three Thai nationals who were held captive at a house in Garsfontein.

The three were arrested when officers pounced on the Pretoria residence on Thursday.

Hawks spokesperson Colonel Katlego Mogale said a daring escape by one of the victims resulted in the rescue.

“It is reported that information was received after one of the victims managed to escape from her captors. She then reported to the Thai Embassy that she had been held against her will for sexual exploitation.”

Rescue

Mogale said a multi-disciplinary operation was tasked with rescuing the captives.

“This prompted the involvement of law enforcement and social services. The information was followed up and contact was made with one of the victims who was still held against her will at the premises.

“Two more victims were rescued after members of the Hawks’ Serious Organised Crime Investigation assisted by Tshwane Metro Police Department (TMPD) K9 and Saps Pretoria K9 gained access into the  premises,” she said.

Mogale said the suspects are expected to appear in the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court soon on charges of trafficking in persons-.

The Provincial Head of the Hawks in Gauteng, Major-General Ebrahim Kadwa congratulated the teams for the successful rescue of the women and the arrests of the perpetrators.

ALSO READ: Life behind bars for murderous kidnapper duo caught napping in stolen cars

Gerco van Deventer kidnapping

Meanwhile, in a separate kidnapping ordeal, Gift of the Givers has made its final passionate attempt to convince the JNIM (al-Qaeda) in Mali to release South African paramedic Gerco van Deventer.

Western Cape resident Van Deventer has been held hostage for almost six years following his kidnapping in Libya in 2017.

After his abduction, Van Deventer was then sold to an al-Qaeda group and has since been moved to Mali, where he is currently being held captive.

Gif of the Givers founder Dr Imtiaz Sooliman said the organisation’s negotiator, Mohamed Yehia Dicko, returned from Mali recently having engaged everyone possible to secure the release of Van Deventer.

ALSO READ: Gift of the Givers’ final plea to Al-Qaeda to release Gerco van Deventer

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