Zim man 'smuggled 21 kids into SA'

2011-08-11 08:00
Johannesburg - A 32-year-old Bulawayo man has been arrested for allegedly smuggling 21 children into South Africa through an illegal crossing point along the Limpopo River, Zimbabwe's Herald Online reported on Thursday.

It is believed that the man was taking the children, aged between 1 and 16, from Bulawayo to Johannesburg and claimed to have been hired by their parents.

Beitbridge Chief Superintendent Lawrence Chinhengo said the man was apprehended in South Africa at around 06:00 on Wednesday.

"The suspect was arrested by our counterparts across Limpopo while loading the children into the car in a bushy area between the South African side of the border and Musina town.

Children in care

"They then handed him over to us. More charges will be preferred against him upon completion of investigations," said Chinhengo.

He said that the children had been taken under the care of Save the Children Centre in the border town while investigations continued.

"We are yet to verify the suspect's claim that he was taking them to their parents.

"The suspect will soon be sent to court and we want to strongly warn all those involved in such criminal acts that their days are numbered," he said.

Seven other men who were travelling in the same vehicle were also arrested for contravening the Immigration Act.

Among them, five had valid passports but had opted to leave the country through an illegal crossing point, said Chinhengo.

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Read more on:    polokwane  |  zimbabwe  |  human trafficking  |  child abuse  |  southern africa

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