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Cops rescue more than 30 trafficked Ethiopians in Midrand

Group of people crowded in a room.

At least 32 Ethiopians believed to have been trafficked into South Africa have been rescued in Midrand. Photo: JMPD

Published Dec 3, 2021


Pretoria – The Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (Hawks) on Friday confirmed the arrest of an Ethiopian national and the rescue of at least 32 of his countrymen who are believed to have been trafficked into South Africa.

The Johannesburg Metro Police Department (JMPD) initially wrote on Twitter that 33 human-trafficking victims had been rescued.

“Working on info received from CI (crime intelligence) 1x Ethiopian national arrested & 33x human trafficking victims (Ethiopian Nationals) rescued in Glen Austin, Midrand by #JMPD K9 Unit together with #SAPS Highway Patrol,” the JMPD posted on Twitter.

Gauteng spokesperson for the Hawks Captain Ndivhuwo Mulamu confirmed the development.

Last week, the SAPS said Jahyr Abdula, the son of a prominent Mozambican businessman abducted a month ago in Benoni, east of Johannesburg, was rescued.

"We applaud all involved for the safe return of Mr Abdula and his friend. We are intensifying efforts to arrest the remaining suspects. We will leave no stone unturned until we have all suspects in police custody," said national police commissioner General Khehla Sitole.

Abdula, the son of businessman Salimo Abdula, was abducted on October 15 together with four friends.

He was rescued in Heidelberg south-east of Johannesburg.

“The search for Mr Abdula continued but ended on Friday, 26 November 2021, when a multidisciplinary team consisting of members of the SAPS Crime Intelligence, the DPCI, Special Task Force, SAPS Airwing, SAPS Johannesburg flying squad and security companies successfully pounced on an identified address and rescued the traumatised and malnutritioned victim,” Sitole said.

One of the alleged kidnappers has been arrested and a manhunt is still under way to arrest the remaining kidnappers.

According to a statement from the SAPS, his parents, Salimo and Maria Abdula, have thanked all involved for rescuing their son.