KUALA LUMPUR,CAPE TOWN – A 24-year-old Bloemfontein woman has been rescued from a suspected sex-trafficking enterprise in Malaysia, and is expected to return home to South Africa by Monday.
Minister of Police Fikile Mbalula said on Friday evening that the woman had been lured to Malaysia under the false impression that she would take part in a model competition.
“We are working to safely get our girl home by Monday latest, in the meantime she is safe and has been seen by our embassy representatives in Kuala Lumpur,” said Mbalula.
“The issue of human trafficking is extremely serious and I want our young women in particular to know that they are the most vulnerable group to sex traffickers who later harvest human organs from them for trade in illicit organ transplant markets.”
Mbalula said he was alerted to the woman’s plight on Wednesday evening.
She and 14 other women were rescued in an operation conducted with the assistance of Interpol, the Malaysian Police, the Hawks and the South African Ministry of Police.
“My greatest concern was the South African and having the rest of these innocent young women rescued is fantastic – a good way to end the week,” he said.
PHOTO: Between 600 000 and 800 000 people are trafficked across international borders a year, 80% of whom are female and more than 50% children. (Getty Images/iStock)