Alleged human trafficking victim to be welcomed home

Alleged human trafficking victim to be welcomed home

The Minister of Police Fikile Mbalula is expected to welcome home a 24-year-old woman who was rescued from an alleged human trafficking incident.

Human trafficking
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The Bloemfontein woman is one of nine women from different countries who were lured to Malaysia through an online competition.

The women "were allegedly trafficked to Malaysia last week Saturday after they responded to take part in a beauty pageant in Kuala Lumpur," reads a statement by the Hawks.

They were rescued during a joint sting operation involving the Hawks, South African Interpol and Malaysian Police.

A Zimbabwean national was also arrested and is currently in custody in Malaysia.

Authorities believe the victims were informed by their handler that the show had been cancelled after which they were held hostage in a hotel room.

But the South African woman managed to make a phone call to her brother who directly contacted Mbalula, who in turn informed the relevant law enforcement agencies.

"One of the victims was used to lure the accused back to the hotel in pretence that she was not feeling well and required immediate medical attention," the Hawks said in its statement.

"It is understood that the ladies were going to be smuggled to different parts of the world for sex trafficking."

Mbalula, who is said to have personally paid for the victim's plane ticket back to South Africa, is expected to meet her at the airport tonight, alongside acting Hawks head Yolisa Matakata.

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