Ten Human trafficking victims were rescued by a joint operation by the Hawks’ Serious Organised Crime Unit, Welkom local police and Odendaalsrus Detectives on Wednesday 10 January 2018. Six suspects aged between 21 and 68 have since been arrested.
Police report that they followed up on information received from Interpol, about a victim who was allegedly trafficked from Lesotho and kept against her will at a farm in Odendaalsrus. On arrival at the given address, five victims were found and rescued. A security guard and a manager at the farm were arrested on the spot.
A preliminary investigation led the team to Khune Village in Welkom where two female suspects who are believed to be the recruiters were arrested. Additional two suspects, a receptionist and a security guard were arrested at a lodge apparently operating as brothel in Welkom, wherein four victims were rescued.
Seven of the victims consisting of four females and three males originate from Lesotho whilst three females are from Bloemfontein. The victims are being kept at a place of safety.
The suspects are expected to appear before Bloemfontein Magistrate’s Court on Friday, 12 January 2018 facing charges of Trafficking in Person.
Investigations continue, further arrests cannot be ruled out.