Hawks arrest five suspects for alleged human trafficking in Kuruman and Rustenburg
ELEVEN victims of alleged human trafficking were rescued and five suspects arrested during raids on three brothels in Kuruman and Rustenburg on Sunday.
The raids were conducted by the Northern Cape Serious Organised Crime Investigation unit with the assistance of North West Serious Organised Crime Investigation unit, Crime Intelligence, K9, TRT, Crime Scene Investigation and Home Affairs.
Hawks spokesperson Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi said search warrants were served at two guest houses in Rustenburg that were used as brothels. “The two premises have been closed,” he said, adding that a simultaneous operation also led to the closure of a house in Kuruman.
“Seven victims – a Zambian, Zimbabwean, three from Lesotho and two South Africans – were rescued in Rustenburg as opposed to an earlier report. None of the girls were from Namibia, as was alleged by some of the victims,” said Mulaudzi.
He said that four South African women were rescued in Kuruman.
“The arrests of the five suspects – aged between 28 and 46 years – is part of a proactive investigation into human trafficking for sexual exploitation in the two towns which has been ongoing for a year.”
Mulaudzi said that the women, who are aged between 20 and 39 years old, were working as prostitutes on the premises after they were allegedly lured by the suspects with the promise of a job.
“An undisclosed amount of money was seized at both guest houses. Receipt books and three vehicles that were allegedly used in the commission of crime were confiscated.”
Mulaudzi indicated that the five male suspects are alleged to be part of a criminal group.
“The suspects are expected to appear before the Rustenburg and Kuruman magistrates courts respectively on Monday,” Mulaudzi said.