10 September 2018

South Africa: Interpol Breaks Up Human Trafficking Ring in Sudan

Police in Sudan's capital have rescued 94 victims of human trafficking, 85 of them minors.

Some of the victims rescued in Khartoum were 10 years old.

Interpol, the international police organization, broke up the trafficking ring in Operation Sawiyan that was conducted August 26 - 30.

Twelve women and two men were arrested in the bust and $20,000 was seized.

The victims were found at several locations, including Khartoum's international airport and open-air gold mines east of the city.

Interpol said in a statement Monday that many of minors were "discovered working under extreme conditions in illegally-operated gold mines, where children as young as ten were also handling dangerous chemicals and substances such as mercury and cyanide."

Interpol said the rescued people were from Chad, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Eritrea, Niger, Sudan and South Sudan.

Tim Morris, Interpol's executive director of police services, said, "The diversity of nationalities amongst those rescued shows how human trafficking and people smuggling is a truly transnational problem which requires a coordinated international response in which police and stakeholders share information and best practices."

Interpol said 200 Sudanese police officers took part in Operation Sawiyan.

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