Malawi Police, YONECO rescue 24 men from human trafficking to South Africa

Youth Net and Counselling (YONECO) in partnership with Malawi Police has rescued 24 Malawians aged between 19 and 42 from being trafficked to economic giant South Africa.

The victims who are all male were being trafficked from Mangochi to South Africa via Dedza border.

YONECO  Media Networking and Advocacy Officer –Charles Banda told  Nyasa Times that out of the 24 victims only 11had passports, while none had the foreign currency that one need to show at the South African border before entry.

South Africa immigration department demands a person to show 3,000 Rands before he can be given permission to enter into the country.

Banda said the suspect  Yassin Tambula Ajusu 42 years of M’baluku Village T/A Chowe in Mangochi district was arrested on the night of 28th November when he was about to cross the border at Dedza carrying 24 people heading to South Africa.

The men give Suprintendet Hankey a handshake of “thank you”

When quizzed by the Police, Yassin said he picked the people because he wanted to find them jobs as they were jobless.

He further revealed that it was his long time business of trafficking people from Malawi to South Africa but this day he was unlucky that he was caught; while the victims said they were taken to South Africa to look for jobs.

Dedza Police have charged Yasin with a case on human trafficking and he is now on remand at Dedza prison.

Banda said they were informed by the Officer in Charge for Dedza that they had impounded a vehicle carrying 24 Malawians destined for South Africa through Dedza border.

YONECO made an immediate follow up on the case to support the repatriation of the victims since they had no money to travel back to their home of district of origin.

The organisation provided them with meals and hired a minibus that took them
back to Mangochi under Police escort.

Upon arrival in Mangochi the victims were counselled by YONECO and Mangochi Police victim support unit before they were dropped home.

Banda commended Dedza Police for being in fore front in fighting against human trafficking.

This is not the first time for YONECO and the Police in working hand in hand fighting against human trafficking.

For instance, there was a case YONECO Officers in Nkhatabay were tipped that someone was trafficking 20 adolescent girls aged between 10 and 20 to South Africa.

“The National Police Headquarters informed all border Police stations about the development, and the suspect was arrested in Dedza. The police found that out of the 20 only 2 had passports and their ages were between 2 and 20 years,” said Banda.

The trafficker was sentenced to two years imprisonment with hard labour.

YONECO is being funded by Norwegian Church Aid in its programmes against human trafficking in Malawi. Through the support the organization is raising awareness in Balaka, Mangochi and Ntcheu districts.

ictims in a group photo with Police Officers and YONECO Helpline Field Officer – Mercy Makondetsa at Dedza Police

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