Eleven people, who are believed to be victims of human trafficking, were rescued early on Sunday morning when the Hawks raided three brothels in the Northern Cape and North West.
The Hawks said in a statement on Sunday that they had warrants to search the two guest houses Birdsong B&B and Noble Guest House in Church Street, Rustenburg, which were allegedly used as brothels. The two premises are closed. Another operation led to the closure of a house in Kuruman.
Five people were arrested.
According to the statement, seven victims in Rustenburg – a Zambian, a Zimbabwean, three victims from Lesotho and two South Africans – were rescued in Rustenburg. Another four South Africans were rescued in Kuruman.
The women, aged between 20 and 39, were used as prostitutes on the premises after they were allegedly lured by the suspects with a promise of work.
“The arrests of the five male suspects between the ages of 28 and 46 are part of a year-long proactive investigation into human trafficking for sexual exploitation in the two towns,” wrote Hawks spokesperson Hangwani Mulaudzi in the statement.
An unknown amount of money was seized on all three sites. Receipt books and three vehicles that were allegedly used in the commission of a crime were also seized.