At least 17 children ranged in age from four to fifteen, have been rescued in Dedza during series of raids police are conducting and planing to dismantle the criminal networks, behind human trafficking.
According to Dedza police Public relations officer Cassm Manda, on Friday, August 22, 2020, Police officers at Salati border, stationed in Dzalanyama forest received a tip-off that Jonas Matias, 42, had connived with Adson Thoya, a driver of CK 3355 Toyota Hilux, and that the two had gone in the area of Traditional Authority Chisewa in Lilongwe, where they have fraudulently coerced the villagers to go with them to Mocambique by promising them that they will be offered good jobs in Estates.
“At 5 pm, Thoya, who is the driver of CK 3355, arrived in the thick forest of Dzalanyama. They ordered the victims to get off and use the unchartered route.
The two traffickers fell in the hands of police officers who were already undercover. The victims were emancipated from the hands of traffickers who were taking them to cross the Malawian border, for greener pasture in Mozambique”, Cassim said.
He further said after interviewing Matias, the key suspect of human trafficking told the police officers that all 31 victims were taken from Lilongwe and they were on their way to Mozambique which was their final destination for cheap labor.
Mandas sai: “The suspect told the police officers that he has been doing this almost every year at the beginning of the farming season and that all these years, he was using an unchartered route”.
He also added that during harvest, the Estate owners rewarded him with some sort of gifts such as motorcycles and other materials since they were making huge profits due to cheap labours.
Trafficking in persons is a heinous crime that exploits the most vulnerable in society and attracts a maximum sentence of fourteen years without the option of fine under part 3 section 14 subsection (1) of trafficking in person act of 2015, laws of Malawi.
The Dedza police PRO said Malawi laws says the consent of a trafficked person is in material regardless of age.
In an effort to stop human trafficking, Dedza police vowed to ramp up a series of investigation in all villages along the border.
Jonas Matias hails from Thangazasoya village in the area of Traditional Authority
Ganya in Ntcheu district while Adson Thoya, 39, hails from Mkwela village in the area of Traditional Authority Chiseka in Lilongwe district