The Hawks have arrested five suspects for alleged human trafficking in Kuruman in the Northern Cape and Rustenburg in North West.
Hawks spokesperson, Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi, said the Hawks’ Northern Cape and North West serious organised crime investigation with the assistance of crime intelligence, K9, TRT, crime scene investigation, and Home Affairs raided three brothels in Kuruman and Rustenburg early on Sunday morning, resulting in the arrest of five suspects and the rescue of eleven victims of alleged human trafficking.
“Search warrants were served at two guesthouses namely Birdsong B&B and Noble Guest House at Kerk Street, Rustenburg, which were used as brothels. The two premises have been closed,” Mulaudzi said.
“Another simultaneous operation also led to a closure of a house in Kuruman.
“Seven victims, a Zambian, Zimbabwean, three from Lesotho and two South Africans were rescued in Rustenburg. Additionally, four South African ladies were rescued in Kuruman,” .
He said the arrests of the five suspects aged between 28 and 46 is part of a year-long, proactive investigation into human trafficking for sexual exploitation in the two towns.
“The women aged between 20 and 39 years were used as prostitutes on the premises, after they were allegedly lured by the suspects with a promise of employment.
“An undisclosed amount of money was seized in all premises. Receipt books and three vehicles that were used in the commission of crime were also confiscated.
“The five male suspects who are believed to be part of an alleged criminal group are expected to appear at Rustenburg and Kuruman Magistrate courts respectively on Monday,” Mulaudzi said.
The National Head of the Hawks, Lieutenant General Godfrey Lebeya has welcomed the arrest and commended the role played by all units.
Lebeya also appreciated the role that was played by community members who reported the matter to the Hawks.
“I want to encourage all South Africans to continuously work hand in glove with the law enforcement agencies to combat the ongoing threat posed by organised criminal groups,” said Lebeya.
(Compiled by Makhosandile Zulu)