Two Athlone elderly men bust for trafficking young men
Two elderly men have been arrested in Athlone for allegedly running a human trafficking ring which targeted young men‚ Western Cape police said on Wednesday.
The pair‚ both aged 63‚ stand accused of luring young men into their operation by promising them jobs‚ said Captain Philani Nkwalase.
“The victims were allegedly picked up by a taxi driver from their respective homes in the Northern Cape after they were promised employment opportunities in Cape Town.
“When they got to their destination on July 27 2018‚ they were allegedly dropped off with the said recruiter‚ who reportedly sold them off to a businessman in Athlone‚” Nkwalase said.
The victims were allegedly forced into hard labour‚ working for a tavern owner. They loaded and offloaded crates of alcohol at the tavern.
Nkwalase said the victims were also kept in unsafe and unhealthy living conditions.
They also pleaded for their release‚ but were told they needed to pay back the costs of getting them to Cape Town before they could be freed‚ Nkwalase further added.
One of the victims‚ however‚ managed to contact his father back in the Northern Cape. He alerted police to the incident and the two 63-year-olds were arrested.
“The suspects were arrested and charged for trafficking in persons‚” Nkwalase explained.
The two men appeared in the Wynberg Magistrate's Court‚ where they were released on bail of R1‚000 each.
Their case returns to court on October 24.