57 children rescued from suspected human traffickers

Three people were arrested after 57 Malawian children were found at a back of a window-less delivery truck.

Picture: Stock.XCHNG

JOHANNESBURG - Fifty-seven Malawian children have been rescued from three suspected human traffickers.

Acting National Police Commissioner Khomotso Phahlane says officers arrested the suspects in the North West province near Rustenburg yesterday.

While the suspects are in custody, the children are now being cared for at a place of safety by the social development department in North West.

Lieutenant General Phahlane says officers on patrol pulled over a truck that was speeding in the early hours of yesterday morning.

"On investigation and during the search, 57 undocumented children between the ages of 11 and 21 were found in the back of a delivery truck which did not have windows."

The general says 18 of the victims, all of whom are from Malawi, are girls.

Phahlane says it's unclear at this stage whether the children were being trafficked for labour or sexual exploitation.

Three Malawian nationals between the ages of 25 and 36 have already appeared in court on human trafficking charges.