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Human traffickers busted

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Human traffickers busted
INVESTIGATING: Badirwang

18 Zimbabweans found crammed in a double-cab vehicle

Police in Francistown busted three men in what may turn out to be one of the biggest human trafficking incidents in the country.

According to Officer Commanding No.15, Kabo Badirwang, three men were caught by Traffic Officers around 12 midnight on Thursday.

“Our officers were on a routine patrol when they stopped a double cab van with foreign registration numbers. They were suspicious because their vehicle was covered with a plastic tent and there were signs of movement coming from within,” said Badirwang.

He further said upon closer inspection the police officers discovered a group of 18 people crammed inside the small vehicle, and the three suspects were detained for further questioning while the group was also put under police watch.

“There were nine ladies with an age range of three months to 38 and nine boys with ages ranging between three and 18,” he said.

“Smuggling or trafficking of people differ in exploitation and transportation. It is a delicate matter which we are kindly handling together with our Zimbabwean counterparts,” said Badirwang.

He said the youngest in the group was a three month old baby who was accompanied by her 18 year old mother.

Badirwang said the three men are yet to be charged as they are still investigating to find a suitable charge for them.

“So far we only know that the group was en-route to South Africa but it is not yet clear what they were going to do in South Africa,” he said.

“It is a complex investigation, which needs the input of Social Workers and Immigration officials,” he said.