Hawks warn of possible human trafficking syndicate

2017-07-11 17:54
The Hawks head offices. (Deaan Vivier, Gallo Images, Beeld)

The Hawks head offices. (Deaan Vivier, Gallo Images, Beeld)

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Cape Town - The Hawks on Tuesday warned of a possible human trafficking syndicate, after a second person claimed to have been drugged and taken over the South African border.

On the weekend of June 30 to July 2, the sister-in-law of a woman who had gone missing asked Hawks spokesperson Hangwani Mulaudzi to help find her missing relative.

Mulaudzi said the woman’s phone was off. He was part of the team of detectives that first ruled out familiar places she could have been at, such as at her friends' or boyfriend's home.

She was eventually found near the Hartbeespoort Dam, North West, and said she had managed to break free and run away for help.

“She claimed she was going to be sent to Botswana,” Mulaudzi said.

According to the woman, she got into a taxi and was drugged. There was a change of vehicles on the journey and she was put with two other women. She heard they were being taken to Botswana, but she managed to get out of the car and run away.

“Luckily there was no rape, but there was an attempt,” Mulaudzi said. She was otherwise unhurt.

'Maths course'

In the second case, a Free State man said he and his sister were fooled into going to Johannesburg to meet a man promising to put them through a mathematics course for gifted students.

He was found unconscious on the side of a road in Mpumalanga and told police his story when he woke up in hospital.

He said he and his sister had travelled from the Free State to meet the man at Johannesburg station. He claimed he was raped and drugged and then left on the side of the road. When they last heard from the sister, she said she was on a flight to Nigeria.

Mulaudzi said the man’s grandmother had since died, apparently from the shock.

The Hawks are working with Interpol, and the international agency is in contact with the Nigerian consulate in South Africa to investigate. The victims claimed their captors were from Nigeria.

The consulate previously said it was concerned about the allegations and contacted News24 for the police officers' contact numbers to get more information.

In the meantime, Mulaudzi cautioned against meeting people advertising courses or promising jobs without first making sure that the people are who they say they are.

Read more on:    hawks  |  crime

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