11 rescued from suspected Free State human traffickers

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Published Jan 17, 2018


Johannesburg - Free State police rescued 11 people held at a farm and a lodge in a case of suspected human trafficking in Welkom, the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (known as the Hawks) said on Wednesday.

Spokesperson Captain S'fiso Nyakane said a 50-year-old businessman has handed himself to the Welkom police following the farm raid last week. 

''The raids were carried out following information received from Interpol [International Criminal Police Organisation] concerning a victim that was being kept against his will at the farm. Five victims were found and rescued, additional five victims were rescued from the lodge allegedly operating as a brothel,'' Nyakane said. 

''The 11th victim, a 28-year-old Lesotho citizen was rescued from the farm on Tuesday, bringing the total number of rescued victims to 11 thus far.''

During the raid, six people aged between 27 and 68 were arrested and have since appeared before Welkom and Odendaalsrus Magistrate’s Courts. 

Their cases were postponed to Friday for bail application. 

Nyakane said the businessman would appear in the Welkom Magistrate's Court soon. 

African News Agency/ANA

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