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Cop convicted of human trafficking

by Staff reporter
08 Mar 2024 at 05:09hrs | Views
A 38-YEAR-OLD police officer awaits sentencing following his conviction on a charge of human trafficking after he lured Zimbabwean job seekers to the Middle East where they were subjected to slave labour.

Magistrate Estere Chivasa was told by the victims that Forward Mashonganyika and his co-accused Tendai Muswe played a key role in trafficking them to Oman where their passports were immediately seized upon arrival.

Allegations are that sometime in February 2022, Mashonganyika together with  Muswe, Hassan Mohammed Ali Shihhi who is based in Oman and a local agent connived to lure the victims to the Middle East for slave labour and sexual exploitation.

Mashonganyika created a WhatsApp group in which he advertised non-existent lucrative jobs in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates.

Through misrepresentation, Mashonganyika recruited three victims after promising them high-paying hotel jobs in Dubai.

State prosecutor Ngoni Kaseke proved that Mashonganyika kept the complainants at his house  for three days before they left the country.

Court papers indicate that the accused persons facilitated the acquisition of visas, air tickets, medical examination reports and the transportation of the victims from Zimbabwe to Oman, instead of Dubai.

She said Mashonganyika obtained pictures from the complainants which were used by their slave masters in Oman to identify them at the airport. The victims only realised that they had been duped upon arrival at Muscat International Airport in Oman.

Upon arrival in Oman, the victims were taken to an unnamed location where they were ordered to comply with Mashonganyika's orders before being made to work as housemaids.

According to court papers, the victims were subjected to long working hours of domestic work without pay, while they were also exposed to sexual and physical abuse and denied freedom of movement as they were restricted indoors.

The matter came to light when the victims reported the offence to the police through Interpol.

Source - newsday
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