Police have appealed to the clients of a Durban brothel, suspected of being part of an international human trafficking syndicate to assist them, or face an embarrassing public visit.
This follows a raid at "exclusive gentlemen's club" After Dark, in Cato Street, at the weekend when 26 young women, believed to be of Thai origin, and four men suspected of being pimps were arrested. Interpol and members of other international police agencies are working closely with the Organised Crime Unit on the investigation.
Owners of the club, who have been identified by police, could soon face charges and police are confident that they will make arrests soon. The Organised Crime Unit's Supt Willie Louw related how he saw terror on the faces of the young girls as they raided the club.
He said during the raid documents containing names, car registration numbers and phone numbers of the club's clientele were seized. The data collected named many high-profile individuals, including well-known businessmen, who would be visited by police for information. "We are appealing to these men to come forward and help us out with our investigations, or risk being embarrassed when we visit you at your homes or place of business," said Louw.
"Clients at the club witnessed and participated in illegal activities by being at the club, and in terms of the Criminal Procedures Act they have to co-operate with us." Louw said most of the arrested women were very young, probably in their late teens, and couldn't speak English. Another building in Pinetown, also linked to the club, was also raided.
Anyone with information can call Inspector Mandla Mkhwanazi at 072 507 9690 or 033 333 8000.
Adapted from: Bhavna Sookha. "Cops in trafficking case appeal to brothel." Independent Online (IOL). 18 December 2006.
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