Pretoria – Police were offered more than R300 000 when they pounced on a house in Springs, Gauteng, where 45 undocumented were being held hostage.
“The team arrested six suspects and seized a shotgun and ammunition as well as over R300 000 in cash that one of the suspects had brought to the house to bribe the members with,” said Gauteng police spokesperson Brigadier Brenda Muridili.
In January, Gauteng organised crime investigation members arrested Abdi Mohammed Adri and charged him with human trafficking after five undocumented Ethiopian nationals were rescued from a house in Brixton. The five were being kept at the house against their will.
“Adri has since appeared in court, and he is currently out on bail. He will be appearing again in court on 28 February 2022. While continuing with investigations on this case, information led the members to the house in Springs, Welgedacht,” said Muridili.
She said preliminary investigations at the scene revealed that the property is owned by a South African woman who was renting out the cottage where the victims were kept.
The woman’s son is a police officer who is attached to the public order policing unit in Springs. He is also staying on the same premises.
“Upon the police searching the premises, a shotgun with SAPS issued ammunition was found in one of the rented rooms. The police then went on to search the room where the POP member was staying and found more SAPS issued shotgun ammunition,” said Muridili.
“While the police were still processing the crime scene, a man came with a plastic bag full of bank notes and offered the cash to the police. The R329 400 was seized, and the man was immediately placed under arrest.”
Three other men that were identified as the people renting the cottage were also placed under arrest, as well as the police officer and his mother.
The six arrested people have been charged with human trafficking, possession of unlicensed firearms, possession of ammunition, bribery and defeating the course of justice.
The 45 victims, aged between 23 and 50 years, have been released to their next of kin.