No minors found at alleged child-trafficking building, say police

Johannesburg police have revealed details surrounding investigations into an alleged child-trafficking ring.

Last month, anti-child abuse group Teddy Bear clinic accused police of failing to act swiftly over reports of a group of children who were said to be kept in a building in the city CBD.

The Teddy Bear clinic was alerted to the matter after a 14-year-old went to hospital seeking treatment for an infection over the Easter Weekend.

Two investigations were conducted including an internal probe against the cops involved.

READ: Joburg police accused of failing to act swiftly on alleged sex-trafficking ring

While a 16-year-old was found upon their investigations, police say no other children were found.

ALSO READ: Police investigating Joburg child-trafficking ring claims

Police spokesperson Brigadier Mathapelo Peters says the 16-year-old's parents were traced and she is said to have run away from home in 2018. While she was placed under the custody of her parents she has run away again.

In the internal investigation, we found about four young female adults and one male adult. What we found corroborated what the two police officers said after they had been interviewed.

Mathapelo Peters, Brigadier and spokesperson - Saps

The station commander of Hillbrow went as far as engaging with the hospital and he spoke to two of the nurses who both corroborated what the police officers said, which is that when they got there they did not find 11 children... they appeared to be over age, not minors.

Mathapelo Peters, Brigadier and spokesperson - Saps

When I went, the youngest was 19 and none of them looked like they were held against their will.

Mathapelo Peters, Brigadier and spokesperson - Saps

All of them were over age, 23 to 26 and came from different places. We offered them, asked them if we can take you somewhere that is safe and they refused.

Mathapelo Peters, Brigadier and spokesperson - Saps

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