33 trafficking victims rescued in Midrand, 65 others ‘sold for R17k each’.
An Ethiopian national was arrested and 33 alleged Ethiopian human trafficking victims were rescued in Glen Austin in Midrand by the Johannesburg metro police department (JMPD) K9 unit and police highway patrol.
JMPD spokesperson Wayne Minnaar said after the rescue on Thursday it was discovered that earlier on the same day about 65 victims had allegedly been sold to business owners for R17,000 per person and were fetched before the police arrived.
“The victims had not eaten in four days. Officers put money together and bought the 33 victims food,” he said.
Minnaar said on Thursday information was received from national crime intelligence about suspects involved in human trafficking and keeping victims captive at a plot in Midrand.
“The operational team responded to the given address. On arrival the team identified the room which was used to keep the victims. The officers identified themselves to one Ethiopian male who was guarding the premises. The man refused to open for the police, who had already seen the victims in one room,” he said.
Working on info received from CI 1x Ethiopian National arrested &33x Human Trafficking Victims (Ethiopians ) rescued in Glen Austin, Midrand by #JMPD K9 Unit together with #SAPS Highway Patrol. Suspect detained at Midrand SAPS &Victims taken to a place of safety #SaferJoburg ^NB pic.twitter.com/jhyBGdroAg
— City of Joburg (@CityofJoburgZA) December 3, 2021
Minnaar said a decision was taken to break open the door to rescue the victims.
He said they were taken to a place of safety through the department of social development.