Welkom businessman up for human trafficking, victim rescued

A 50-year-old Welkom businessman is expected to appear at the Welkom Magistrate’s Court today following his arrest by the Hawks’ Organised Crime unit and Welkom local police on Tuesday for alleged human trafficking.

The businessman accompanied by his Attorney handed himself over to the Hawks office in Welkom after members rescued ten (10) victims last week from his farm in Khune Village and also at his lodge that was allegedly operating as a brothel.

The raids were carried out following information received from Interpol concerning a victim that was being kept against his will at the farm. On the scene five victims were found and rescued, additional five victims were rescued from the lodge.

Six suspects Moalosi Boyaphi (68), John Mothebe (57), Mpele Agnencia (40), Tgakholi Celesting, Abram Sekoleli (53) and Dineo Mofana (27) were arrested during the raid and they have since appeared before Welkom and Odendaalsrus Magistrate’s Court on Friday, 12 January 2018 and the case was postponed to 19 and 22 January 2018 for formal bail application.

Following further investigations, an additional suspect, Lebona Phumela (27) was arrested on Monday, January 15. She appeared before the Odendaalsrus Magistrate’s Court yesterday (Tuesday) facing a charge of human trafficking and the case was postponed to 19 and 22 January 2018.

A 28-year-old victim originally from Lesotho was also rescued from the farm yesterday, bringing the total number of rescued victims to eleven thus far.

Investigations continue, further arrests cannot be ruled out.

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