TRAFFICKING SYNDICATE ARRESTED IN MAYFAIR
31st January 2024
- UNITS INVOLVED :
- SAPS Anti Kidnapping Unit
- SAPS – DPCI (Hawks)
- SAPS – Crime Intelligence: State and Counter Security
- SAPS – Organised Crime (Gauteng)
- SAPS – Anti- Gang Unit
- Vision Tactical
- SSG Security
- JT VIP
Authorities received reliable intelligence about a Johannesburg-based human trafficking network specifically preying on Indian women.
The investigation was formally initiated subsequent to information of the escape of the young women and marked the commencement of a detailed inquiry into the circumstances surrounding their captivity.
In the aftermath of the incident’s report, there was an immediate mobilisation of specialised units. These units, possessing considerable expertise in the areas of human trafficking and kidnapping, collaborated closely with private security firms. Their concerted efforts were directed towards accurately locating and identifying the premises where the victims had been detained. This action was imperative for both the safety of the victims and the advancement of the ongoing investigation.
Through meticulous scrutiny of the data and international agency collaboration, operatives of the network active in India, Dubai, and South Africa were pinpointed. Investigations revealed that the victims were deceitfully enticed to South Africa with false promises by representatives located in South Africa and Dubai, only to be forcefully confined upon arrival.
Intelligence exposed the modus operandi of the syndicate and noted that the victims were ultimately enticed to accompany clients, leading to sexual encounters. The financial compensation for these encounters was then directly handed over to a members of the syndicate.
On January 31, 2024, a strategic intelligence-led operation was executed at a commercial establishment in the Mayfair/Fordsburg area. This operation led to the discovery and rescue of two Indian women who were found confined in a secluded room. Six suspects were detained at the Brixton SAPS station, implicated in the kidnapping and trafficking of these women. Preliminary investigations indicated that this syndicate had kidnapped at least six other women over the past month.
Continued investigative efforts, bolstered by initial statements from the rescued victims, resulted in a raid on a residential property. At this location, members recovered passports and personal belongings of the victims. It was established that the victims were regularly transported between this residence and the aforementioned commercial site, under the supervision of three Indian nationals, who were among those arrested. The owner of the business was also apprehended following revelations of his knowledge and complicity in the unlawful confinement of these women.
Members seized an array of cellphones, numerous documents including passports, and a quantity of cash, all of which are deemed pivotal for further investigative procedures. The individuals in custody are expected to be formally charged with human trafficking, sex trafficking, kidnapping, and extortion, and are scheduled for a court appearance on February 2, 2024.
Post-rescue, the victims, upon medical clearance, were provided with trauma counselling and consular assistance by the Indian High commission to facilitate their recovery and repatriation processes.
Investigation is on-going.
South African Police Service
PRETORIA – A multi-disciplinary team consisting of various units within the South African Police Service (SAPS) led by the Anti-Kidnapping Task Team has arrested six suspects on suspicion of human trafficking and kidnapping in Mayfair.
Two Indian women aged between 20 and 24 years of age have since been rescued.
The team consisting of private security received intelligence on a Johannesburg based human trafficking network preying on Indian women.
These women were allegedly enticed to the country with false promises of employment. Where upon arrival they were kept against their will, offered to clients leading to sexual encounters.
On Wednesday, 31 January 2024, members operationalised information and pounced on an identified address and a commercial site.
Members seized an array of cellphones, numerous documents including passports and cash for further investigation.
The six men are expected to face charges of human trafficking, sex trafficking, kidnapping, and extortion. They are expected to appear before court on, 02 February 2024.
Investigations are ongoing.
Brigadier Athlenda Mathe
082 040 8808
#sapsHQ A multi-disciplinary team consisting of various units within the #SAPS led by the Anti-Kidnapping Task Team has arrested 6 suspects on suspicion of #HumanTrafficking and #kidnapping in Mayfair. Two Indian women aged between 20 and 24 years of age have since been rescued.… pic.twitter.com/5Ug5hVQLLP— SA Police Service 🇿🇦 (@SAPoliceService) February 1, 2024
Six suspects were arrested for their alleged links to a human trafficking syndicate where Indian females were the target. These women were allegedly lured to SA under false pretense. They were offered to clients in return for sexual favours. Two Indian women have been rescued pic.twitter.com/8BnBOd0AgG— Athlenda Mathe (@AthlendaM) February 1, 2024
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