Three men charged with a single count of smuggling of persons were arraigned before the Nata Magistrates court this Monday. The trio was arrested last Monday at Ngwasha Veterinary Gate, along Nata and Maun road with 40 men crammed inside a trailer.
According to the police, the two Zambian men, passengers in truck, allegedly jumped out of the truck and attempted to flee but they were immediately captured.
This is said to have raised eyebrows for the cops who then thoroughly searched the truck. To the shock of law enforcement, the trailer revealed a distressing cargo of 40 males, ranging in age from 10 to 35 years old.
Initial findings by the police suggest that these individuals hailed from Ethiopia and were en route to the Republic of South Africa.
On August 17, 2023, the trio made their first appearance before the Nata Magistrate Court
Botswana Police Public Relations Officer Near Bagali confirms that they intercepted a horse and trailer truck which was transiting to South Africa from Ethiopia. He adds that Botswana Police had to engage Interpol to trace the routes that the truck used. Currently, the Botswana Police is conducting operations across the country.
According to Bagali, the three suspects, Evance Kalulu, 35, Francis Mutale, 46, both from Zambia and Artwell Manyeruke, 35, from Zimbabwe will return to court on September 7. All the victims are currently kept at a safe place in Francistown while Police wait for confirmation of their identities from the Ethiopian government.
As the investigation progresses, authorities are working tirelessly to shed light on the operations of this alleged human trafficking ring and to prevent further instances of such heinous crimes.