- Two police officers were arrested in a case related to human trafficking.
- The officers allegedly raped a victim of human trafficking.
- One officer allegedly forced the victim to open a fake case in order to mislead investigators.
Two police officers have been arrested in connection with a human trafficking case in Gauteng.
The two senior police officers were arrested on Thursday morning in Vereeniging.
They are expected to face charges of human trafficking and defeating the ends of justice.
The arrests form part of an ongoing investigation into a trafficking in persons’ syndicate in the province, in which a medical doctor, Magnus Adelani Osinowo, 31, and his accomplice, Ikechukwu Ononzawa, 32, were apprehended last month. Both have been remanded in custody for allegedly conducting illegal abortions on victims.
“It is alleged that between January and November 2020, the suspects, both aged 57, a brigadier and a captain, allegedly visited an identified illegal brothel in Vereeniging, where one of the victims was allegedly reported missing and held hostage for the purpose of sexual exploitation.
“They allegedly forced themselves on the victim, raped her on numerous occasions and paid money to the brothel owner,” said Hawks spokesperson Captain Ndivhuwo Mulamu.
Attempt to ‘divert’ investigation
The victim later escaped from the brothel and reported the matter to the police.
“[She] was allegedly forced by one of the suspects to open a staged rape case against a family member in order to divert the investigation’s focus,” added Mulamu.
The acting provincial head of the Hawks, Brigadier Wendy Mashwabane, applauded the investigation team.
“Human trafficking is an evil form of modern-day slavery, a network that preys on the vulnerability of fellow human beings for self-enrichment.
“The [Hawks] is committed to tackling this scourge, in collaboration with our partners in government and civil society.
“Members of the public are urged to report any suspicions of trafficking in persons to the Crime Stop hotline or their nearest [Hawks] office,” said Mashwabane.