Five Nigerian nationals were arrested and charged with human trafficking after the Hawks found 11 women working as prostitutes. The women were found in brothels masquerading as bed-and-breakfast accommodation. Two of the men were arrested in Rustenburg and the remaining three in Kuruman early on Sunday morning. The Hawks arrived at the property to find 6 South African women, three Lesotho nationals and another woman from Zambia. Some of the women were already ‘working’ while others were still asleep. The four foreign nationals had expire passports in their possession at the time of the raid.
Nomthandaso Mnisi, spokesperson for the Northern Cape Hawks, said it was not yet known how the women ended up in the brothel. He said that some of the women claimed they were lured into the country with promises of employment. According to Mnisi the five suspects did not reside at the three properties. “Although the women have not confirmed if they work for the suspects, they stay in their property and pay them R500 rent a day.” Mnisi said. “An undisclosed amount of money was seized in all premises. Receipt books and three vehicles that were used in the commission if crime were also confiscated.” Mnisi said they were determining the status of the accused in the country: “We have charged the suspects with alleged trafficking in persons and we are working with the Department of Home Affairs to check their status in the country.” She said the youngest of the 10 women is 20 years old while the oldest is 39. According to Mnisi, they have been investigating the men for some time and are currently interviewing the women to get more information with regards to the circumstances and details of the illegal business to aid them in their investigations.