Polokwane – Limpopo police and an NGO have teamed up in a bid to combat an increase in human trafficking in the province, they announced on Monday.
“Human trafficking is a complicated and complex crime. It’s not a body lying dead or a mutilated woman, it is a lady walking through the border and saying she is a refugee,” Stop Trafficking of People director Corinne Sandenbergh said at a joint media briefing in Polokwane.
The organisation was training police and other law enforcement agencies to identify human trafficking victims, who often claim to be refugees. Some are forced into prostitution.
According to police, 250 foreigners have been rescued since January, while being smuggled through Limpopo. The victims were from Malawi, Ethiopia, Zimbabwe, and the Middle East, and had been lured to the country with promises of a better life.
Deputy provincial police commissioner, General Nonhlanhla Zulu, said they had noticed an increase in cases of human trafficking earlier this year and approached national organisations to help them combat it.
Sandenbergh said police stations would have forms to be filled out in cases of human trafficking.