Chinese woman charged with human trafficking

2011-07-13 13:11

A Chinese woman appeared in the Parow Regional Court today on charges of human trafficking for sexual purposes.

The 34-year-old woman was arrested earlier this year when police raided a house in Goodwood, Cape Town.

She faces 13 counts involving human trafficking, keeping a brothel, kidnapping and charges framed under the Immigration Act.

She may not be named until her trial starts and she pleads to the charges, because some of the charges involve sexual offences.

The proceedings today were before magistrate Elsa van Zyl.

An older woman also arrested during the raid was absent today because she was “back in custody”, prosecutor Francine Ruben told the court.

She would appear in the Goodwood Magistrate’s Court tomorrow.

The initial raid was part of an investigation involving the City of Cape Town’s vice squad and the police’s human trafficking task team.

It started when a vice squad member noticed an advertisement in a community newspaper involving a massage parlour operating in Goodwood.

When the team raided the premises, they rescued two Chinese women who had been brought into the country under false pretences and been forced to work as prostitutes.

The two women were to have been informed of the date of their trial in the Parow Regional Court during today’s proceedings.

Ruben asked that a warrant for the older woman’s arrest for failing to appear in the regional court today be stayed until July 29, when both would appear again.

Defence attorney Oscar Katz told the court that four women, including his two clients, were arrested yesterday afternoon, at the house where they were first arrested.

However, three were released without being charged, and only the older of his two clients remained in custody.

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