The Directorate of Intelligence and Security (DIS) has smashed a network of international human trafficking syndicates that has been trafficking hundreds of Batswana to Canada where they are forced into prostitution, forced labour and sometime resorting to seeking political asylum.
It is understood that more than 1000 Batswana have been lured to Canada with promises of well paying jobs and then left stranded there. The Canadian government has already contacted the Botswana government inquiring about a case involving a Motswana who is stranded in Canada and is seeking political asylum.
The Minister of Defence, Justice and Security, Ramadeluka Seretse, confirmed to Sunday Standard Friday night that, “I m aware of cases that involve Batswana nationals who are currently stranded in Canada but I am not aware of the actual number involved.”
Seretse said that it was disappointing for Batswana to call themselves political refugees.
He further confirmed that the Canadian authorities had contacted the Botswana government inquiring about a case, which they had already received.
Sunday Standard investigations have turned up reports that the network of criminal syndicates made up of companies owned by Batswana and some by foreigners has in the past been using Namibian airline to traffic their human contraband to Canada using forged air tickets. The Namibian airline has however recently uncovered the scam. Initially the syndicates were using Air Botswana and connecting to South African airliners to Europe but were found out.
The Ministry of Defence , Justice and Security has issued a press statement warning the public of the existence of “unscrupulous individuals and companies operated by both Batswana and foreigners that are currently preying on unsuspecting citizens with false promises of obtaining employment , study and traveling opportunities outside Botswana to places such as Australia, Canada, Ireland, UK and USA.”
“These criminal syndicates will often approach their victims through seemingly legitimate sounding newspaper advertisements, as well as emailed invitations, to initially lure their victims,” reads part of the statement, released to the Sunday Standard on Friday evening and signed by Isaac Kgosi, the Director of the Directorate of Intelligence and Security.
The statement said victims pay the agents registration and service fees as well as additional money for their tickets and, in some cases, the said tickets are produced but later discovered to be fraudulent.
“Given the above, the Ministry advises the public to exercise caution in dealing with situations that promise overseas opportunities.”