Raid too late to rescue 100 sex slaves

2011-04-26 11:35

Durban - The Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (Hawks) is keeping tight-lipped about its investigations into a possible human trafficking syndicate that is allegedly recruiting women and girls from other parts of Africa and putting them to work in the sex trade.

Police raided a farm at Paulpietersburg - believed to be used by the syndicate as a base - and a brothel on Friday, but found the place empty, leading them to believe that somehow the syndicate had been tipped off.

Hawks spokesperson McIntosh Polela said on Monday the police would not release more information to the media. A Durban newspaper on Monday quoted police spokesperson Vincent Mdunge as saying the police narrowly missed rescuing about 100 women and girls during the raid.

He said their investigations showed that this was the most serious case of human trafficking they have come across. It is thought the syndicate recruits women in Mozambique and Zimbabwe and sends them abroad, even to countries like the Netherlands, to work in the sex trade.

Mdunge said they are also following up on information that some children are being held in other parts of the country.

The police are worried about what might happen to the children as long as they remain in the hands of their captors. That is why they are working with SADC and Interpol to make sure the girls are not smuggled across borders.


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