On Monday six alleged human traffickers appeared in the Pretoria Magistrates’ Court. A 17-year-old was rescued by police after she reportedly left her Hammanskraal home in March last year and a 25-year-old from a flat after receiving information from the Human Trafficking Hotline. The arrests in Sunnyside were a result of a joint operation by the Hawks Serious Organised Crime Investigation and the Tshwane K9 unit.

The alleged human traffickers have been remanded in custody after they appeared in the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court for contravening the Trafficking in Persons Act 7 of 2013 for the purpose of sexual exploitation. The case against the suspects, who are aged between 19 and 40, was postponed to January 10 for a formal bail application.

It emerged that two of the suspects are fugitives who had been on the run since September 2019. They were allegedly linked to another case of human trafficking where nine suspects were arrested and their case is now at the Pretoria High Court.Hawks spokesperson Lieutenant-Colonel Philani Nkwalase said the joint team responded to information received from the human trafficking hotline about a 17-year-old minor victim who reportedly left home in March last year. She was allegedly recruited from Hammanskraal by one of the suspects, kept against her will, forced into a life of drugs and subjected to acts of sexual exploitation.

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