Police make crucial human trafficking arrests in the Northern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal

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Three people are expected to appear in various courts for alleged human trafficking and illegal immigration.
Three people are expected to appear in various courts for alleged human trafficking and illegal immigration.
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  • A man suspected of involvement in an Upington-based human trafficking syndicate has been arrested for allegedly luring young women and forcing them to engage in sex work.
  • He will appear in the Upington Magistrate's Court on Monday, along with another man who allegedly trafficked a teen to Gauteng.
  • Meanwhile in KwaZulu-Natal, it emerged that two people had allegedly been trafficked from India as cheap labourers.


Clamping down on human trafficking, police have arrested a 29-year-old man who is believed to be part of a human trafficking syndicate that operates in Upington in the Northern Cape.

And in KwaZulu-Natal last week, police arrested two people on immigration-related charges and discovered that they had allegedly been trafficked from India.

In the case of the 29-year-old man, it is alleged that he trafficked young women from the Northern Cape to Johannesburg where they were forced to engage in sex work.

Hawks spokesperson Nomthandazo Mnisi said: "It is alleged that victims were lured from Upington to Sandton and were used for prostitution. A search was conducted in an apartment at Sandton which is reported to be used as a brothel."

During the search, three victims, aged 19 to 24, were rescued, Mnisi said.

"Cellphones and an undisclosed amount of money were also seized."

The man was arrested in Sandton on Saturday and will join 33-year-old Emmanuel Uzoaga in the Upington Magistrate's Court on Monday on human trafficking charges.

'Promised better job opportunities'

Uzoaga was arrested in Upington last week, while allegedly transporting an 18-year-old woman to Gauteng, Mnisi added.

In the KwaZulu-Natal case, the Hawks arrested two people who had allegedly been trafficked from India in 2018, in Eshowe and Nongoma last Thursday.

Hawks spokesperson Colonel Katlego Mogale said the two, aged 31 and 32, were trafficked for cheap labour.

Mogale said:

They were allegedly promised better job opportunities and permanent residence permits. Fraudulent documents, which included police clearance, contracts of employment and medical records were submitted to the home affairs department for permanent residence permit applications [by a trafficking syndicate].

Investigators are trying to find the syndicate.

The two are expected to appear in the Durban Magistrate's Court on Monday for fraud and the contravention of the Immigration Act.


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