Johannesburg – Five Nigerian nationals have been arrested and charged with human trafficking after 10 women were found to be working as prostitutes at brothels masquerading as bed-and-breakfast accommodation.
Two of the men were arrested in Rustenburg and three in Kuruman on Sunday morning around 6am.
When the Hawks arrived at the three properties, they found six South African women, two Lesotho nationals as well as one woman from Zimbabwe and another from Zambia. Some of the women were still sleeping, while others were already servicing clients.
All four foreign women had expired passports in their possession at the time of the raids, according to the Hawks.
Northern Cape Hawks spokesperson Nomthandaso Mnisi said it was not yet known how the women ended up in the brothel but some of the women alleged that they were lured into the country with promises of jobs.
Mnisi said that the five suspects did not live on the three properties.
“Although the women have not confirmed if they work for the suspects, they stay in their property and pay them R500 rent a day.
“We have charged the suspects with alleged trafficking in persons and we are working with the Department of Home Affairs to check their status in the country,” she said.
Mnisi said the youngest of the 10 women is 20 years old while the oldest is 39.
She also confirmed that they had been investigating the men for some time and were currently interviewing the women to get more information that will help their probe.