MUST READ: 72 victims rescued from human trafficking in Newcastle

Members of the Hawks rescued 72 foreign nationals from a factory in the Industrial Precinct.

These nationals were allegedly trafficked from Swaziland and Lesotho to South Africa for labour exploitation.

Also read: CRIME: Amajuba Crime Cluster Unit produces highly successful arrests

After receiving information regarding the human trafficking, Hawks members obtained a search warrant for the factory, and together with the Department of Labour and Home Affairs, stormed the premises on February 3.

In a statement released by the Hawks Director for Priority Crime Investigation, a search was conducted and the victims were found working.

Preliminary investigation revealed the victims were brought into South Africa illegally.

“Five suspects aged between 18 and 35 were arrested. They were charged for human trafficking and they are due to appear in the Newcastle Magistrate’s Court today (February 6).”

Chairmen of the Chinese Chamber of Commerce, Alex Liu said:

“The Chinese community is shocked and angered. According to the owner of the factory, he moved to Newcastle last year and it might be he did not know the law. The Chinese community will work with the Department of Home Affairs and Department of Labour to ensure this does not happen again.”

We will update this story as soon as more information is available.

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Tersia Gopi

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