6 arrested in Welkom for human trafficking, victims rescued

Welkom – Authorities have arrested six people they believe to be involved in a human trafficking ring in Odendaalsrus, Welkom, the Hawks said on Friday.

On Wednesday, the Hawks and Welkom police acted on information received from Interpol relating to a victim who was allegedly trafficked from Lesotho, and kept against her will at a farm in Odendaalsrus.

- Also read: Human trafficking suspect nabbed in Cape Town, 2 women freed

When authorities arrived at the scene, four more victims were rescued.

"A security guard and a manager at the farm were arrested on the spot," Hawks spokesperson Captain S'fiso Nyakane said.

According to Nyakane, preliminary investigations led the team to Khune Village in Welkom where two women, who are believed to be recruiters for the ring, were arrested.

"An additional two suspects, a receptionist and a security guard, were arrested at a lodge apparently operating as [a] brothel in Welkom, wherein four victims were rescued."

He added that the victims were being kept at a place of safety.

"Investigations continue, further arrests cannot be ruled out."

The accused are expected to appear before Bloemfontein Magistrate’s Court on charges of human trafficking. 

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