Four human trafficking suspects arrested in Pretoria: Hawks

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Four alleged human traffickers between the ages of 19 and 40 have been arrested in Sunnyside, Pretoria, by the Hawks’ Serious Organised Crime Investigation teams and the Tshwane K9 unit.

Police say they responded to information received from the Human Trafficking Hotline about a 17-year-old minor victim who reportedly left home in March 2021.

She was allegedly recruited from Hammanskaal by one of the suspects and was kept against her will and forced into a life of drugs and subjected to sexual exploitation.

A search and rescue operation was conducted at the Sunnyside apartment following an in-depth investigation.

The minor was successfully rescued along with another 25-year-old victim and taken to a place of safety.

Hawks Gauteng spokesperson, Philani Nkwalase says the fugitives have been on the run since 2019.

“Two of the four suspects arrested are fugitives who had been on the run since September 2019. They were allegedly linked to another case of Human traffic where nine suspects were arrested and their case is now at the Pretoria High court. All four suspects are expected to appear in the Pretoria Magistrates Court on Monday, 03 January 2022. They will be facing charges of contravening the Trafficking in Persons Act 7 of 2013 for the purpose of sexual exploitation.”