Child prostitutes rescued from Durban club

At least eight underage girls were removed and four girls questioned after police, acting on a court warrant, swooped on the Monte Carlo Night Club in Stanger Street, Durban, on Friday night.

Police spokesperson Superintendent Vishnu Naidoo said on Saturday that various organised police crime units, the Metro police department, the department of Justice, Childline, the Asset Forfeiture Unit and the Fire Department swooped on the club's premises at about 11.15pm.

"The primary objective of this operation was to identify child prostitution, pornography and the contravention of the Sexual Offences Act. The night club is the destination of various foreign citizens," Naidoo said.

The minors and four girls found on the premises were taken to Childline's offices, where the four girls were to be questioned.

Ecstasy tablets were also recovered on the premises.

Naidoo said this operation was unique "in the sense that the operation was executed without the primary objective being the search and seizure of firearms and drugs. It targeted only sexual offences, and the operation was the first of its kind in Durban".

He said the case would be investigated and the findings handed over to the Assets Forfeiture Unit "for them to contemplate further action".

Meanwhile, the Fire Department has closed down the place because "it does not comply with Occupational Healthy and Safety".

No arrests were made, but Naidoo said investigations would continue and possible arrests might follow.

"We view the operation as extremely successful in terms of combating child prostitution in the area. It also serves as a deterrent to others involved in child prostitution to stop immediately..."

He said the project was part of an effort in ridding the city of Durban of places where criminal activity seemed to be spiralling.

About a month ago, the Assets Forfeiture Unit took over Blenheim Flats in Durban, a place of alleged ongoing criminal activities. It was the first time ever for a judge to issue an order to have a building confiscated and placed under curatorship by the state in the KwaZulu-Natal province, Naidoo said. - Sapa


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