Pretoria – Two Ethiopians, a man and a woman, have been arrested by undercover officers from the Joburg Metro Police Department’s integrated intelligence operations centre, for suspected human trafficking in Meredale.
JMPD spokesperson Xolani Fihla said on Wednesday, officers following up on information received of human trafficking in Meredale, paid a visit to Sparrowgate Lifestyle Estate.
“Upon arrival, the complainant showed officers four Ethiopian teenage boys who had allegedly escaped from their traffickers. The complainant led officers to an apartment in the estate, where the Ethiopian boys were being held against their will,” said Fihla.
“In that apartment officers found an Ethiopian male and female. They were questioned regarding the four Ethiopian boys who had escaped from their apartment.”
The Ethiopian man and woman alleged that the boys had been brought by their friend, and that he was going to fetch them later.
“Officers then interviewed the boys who told them that the male had threatened to kill them if they tried to escape, and they were kept hostage without their consent,” Fihla said.
He said R92 000 was found in the flat. The man and woman were arrested.
Last month, three Bangladeshi nationals were granted R10 000 bail by the Vanderbijlpark Magistrate’s Court after they were arrested on charges of murder, kidnapping and attempted extortion.
Mohammed Alamin, 26, Fuzlol Alom, 36, and 34-year-old Mohammed Solayman Ahmed are charged together with compatriot Mohammed Rahman, 27.
At the time, North Gauteng regional spokesperson for the director of public prosecutions Lumka Mahanjana said, Rahman remained in custody after he abandoned his bail application.
“Rahman is facing a further charge of being illegal in the country. It is alleged that on 16 December 2021 the four accused kidnapped a man, also Bangladeshi, in Kwaggafontein in Mpumalanga and drove with him to Vanderbijlpark where they assaulted him,” said Mahanjana.
“They then took a video of him and sent it to his family in Bangladesh, demanding that the family pay them money for his release. After several days of not receiving a response from his family they killed him, dumped and burnt his body in the bushes in Bophelong (Vanderbijlpark).”