Anna Kreller alleges that she was held captive in Springs for seven years. Picture: Lowvelder

Johannesburg - A young woman claims she is British and says she was abducted by a man she met online and forced into a life of prostitution in Springs, east of Joburg.

Anna Kreller, 26, told her rescuer, a man only identified as Leon, of her ordeal: that she had been held captive in South Africa since she was 19 and used as a sex slave in the downtrodden area of Geduld.

The story of Kreller’s assertions was first published on Friday in the Lowvelder newspaper in Nelspruit.

But Gauteng police have refused to confirm the allegations and said Kreller was being held as an illegal immigrant.

Speaking from the UK, her mother, Angela, told the Saturday Star she was shocked her daughter was in jail. But she refused to explain her daughter’s circumstances.

“I can tell you that she is not an illegal immigrant.

“I need to speak to my daughter. She wants to come home.

“I love her very much.”

The newspaper reported that Leon was driving in Geduld on Wednesday when he saw a man acting “aggressively” towards Kreller. After he drove past again, the man ran away.

She asked him to please phone her mother, according to the newspaper.

“Tell her I’m not dead, I’m still alive.”

She had met a man from Cape Town on the internet who tricked her into believing he wanted to marry her, she said.

“The man travelled … to fetch her and immediately took her passport and assaulted her severely, breaking her nose. She showed him the scars of old stab wounds.”

The man, she claimed, had forced her into a life of prostitution, holding her captive in Springs.

She told Leon they had tried to force her to take drugs and she had become addicted to alcohol. She had once escaped, and had gone to a police station for help but “they had refused to help her as she had no passport or ID”.

But all Gauteng police spokeswoman Captain Doniah Mothutsane would reveal is that the police were investigating Kreller’s bona fides. “The police were alerted about a young woman who was lying on the street and suspected to be under the influence of alcohol.

“The woman alleges that she is from UK but there is no documentation to prove if she is indeed from UK.

“ She was then arrested for illegal immigration while police are investigating other allegations.” - Saturday Star