39 people rescued from alleged human trafficking ring in Mpumalanga

The victims included nine children under the age of five years.

Two suspects appeared at the Belfast Magistrate’s Court on charges of trafficking in persons after the Hawks in Mpumalanga rescued 39 victims on a farm in Belfast.

The suspects, both aged 32, were arrested on 24 June 2022. The Hawks said more arrests were imminent.

According to Hawks spokesperson in Mpumalanga, colonel Katlego Mogale, the 39 victims included women and minor children.

“The 39 victims including 7 women, 9 children under the age of five and 23 males all over the age of 18, were rescued from a farm in Belfast,” said Mogale.

The victims were rescued from the trafficking ring by the members of Nelspruit Serious Organised Crime, Flying Squad, Department of Labour and Home Affairs.

Information from the Hawks stated that the victims were trafficked from Mozambique and they were driven to Lydenburg, where the son of the farm owner and another trafficker allegedly met with the taxi driver and paid for the transportation of the victims.

The victims were then taken to the farm in Belfast for labour, the rescued victims will be kept at a place of safety.

Two nabbed for human trafficking in Jhb

Meanwhile, the Johannesburg Metropolitan Police Department (JMPD) arrested two suspects on 15 June 2022 at Johannesburg cbd.

This after the JMPD officers stopped an overloaded Toyota Quantum mini bus taxi with Mozambican registration plates during Buya Mthetho patrols along Wanderers and Noord Street.

JMPD spokesperson Xolani Fihla said the passengers were all undocumented foreign nationals and a lady in the taxi attempted to speak on behalf of the passengers so they do not get arrested.

“Whilst communicating with the officers, the lady mentioned that each person had paid her R3,500 to come to South Africa for a better life and to get a job. The driver of the minibus taxi was paid R1,000 per person,” said Fihla.

Additional information by Faizel Patel

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