A "recruiter" who sold three young men to a Cape Town businessman and tavern owner has been fined R10 000 or two years in prison, suspended for five years.Cosian Hendriks, 74, recruited his three victims from Colesburg, trafficking them with promises of employment opportunities, Hawks spokesperson Captain Philani Nkwalase said.WATCH | 'Slavery is gone in SA, maybe I am just harsh on them' - man accused of racismThe men were picked up by a taxi driver at their homes in the Northern Cape on July 27 last year and driven to Cape Town."On arrival in Athlone, they were dropped off with Hendriks, who sold them off to a businessman and the tavern owner in Athlone. The three victims were forced into hard labour and stayed in a crude and unhealthy accommodation," Nkwalase said."Their pleas to be returned home a day after their arrival were met with resistance, as they were told to first pay back costs incurred. The matter was reported to the Athlone police, when the father of one victim heard about their plight."Following the rescue of the three men, all aged in their early 20s, Hendriks and the tavern owner were arrested on July 30, 2018.Initially charged with human trafficking, this was converted to a contravention of the Employment Services Act 4 of 2014. "Consequently, the tavern owner was released as the victims were saved before they could be exploited," Nkwalase said.