A joint operation between the South African Police Service, the Hawks and Interpol resulted in the rescue of a number female victims from a suspected global human trafficking syndicate.
A 24-year-old South African woman was among those rescued on Friday from the suspected syndicate in Malaysia.
Police Minister Fikile Mbalula said the Bloemfontein resident was lured by a modelling competition online.
He said he received information about the woman on Wednesday night‚ and asked Interpol and the Hawks to investigate.
“The speed in intervention assisted South Africa to rescue females from 14 nations‚” said his police statement. “The South African victim is now safe and secured.”
A Nigerian man was arrested as a suspect in Malaysia after a sting operation on Friday.
“We are working to get our girl home. In the meantime she is safe and has been seen by our embassy representatives in Kuala Lumpur.”
Mbalula added that there were suspicions that the trafficked women were going to be used as sex slaves and their organs would eventually be harvested for sale on the black market for illegal transplants.
“My greatest concern was the South African‚ and having the rest of these innocent young women rescued is fantastic – a good way to end the week.
“I expect to welcome our citizen back home by Tuesday next week. Unfortunately she has to spend her birthday on the flight but we are very happy she will soon be home.”
The victims came from at least 14 countries, some from as far as Barbados and various Asian countries.