SA sends clear message to human traffickers

2011-07-20 15:04

The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) in Pretoria has welcomed the sentencing of human trafficker Adina dos Santos (28) to life imprisonment.

Dos Santos was also given a one-year sentence in the Pretoria Regional Court on Tuesday for living off the money the young women had made.

She was found guilty in May of trafficking three girls from Mozambique to Pretoria in February 2008.

The acting chief of mission at the IOM, Dr Erick Ventura, welcomed the conviction and sentence.

“We are encouraged by it as it not only proves that human trafficking exists, but also serves as a deterrent to others involved in this crime,” Ventura said.

Dos Santos was arrested in 2008 and charged with luring the three teenagers, aged between 14 and 17 years, to South Africa pretending to offer them work in her hair salon in Pretoria. She had met them on a beach.

Within days while staying with Dos Santos, the three girls were kept against their will, made to watch pornographic movies, forced into prostitution and Dos Santos pocketed the money they made.

The IOM said human traffickers in South Africa were in the past rarely taken to court and were only charged with minor offences such as “keeping a brothel”.

Hawks spokesperson McIntosh Polela told Sapa police hoped the sentence would send a clear message to those who trafficked young girls and profited from their sexual exploitation.

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