Limpopo police have arrested two foreign nationals suspected of human trafficking after 24 undocumented Ethiopian nationals were found hidden inside two vehicles. The two cars were reportedly heading to the Gauteng province.

The arrest took place on Wednesday, 28 February 2024 in Morebeng. It followed a rigorous investigation into activities suggesting the smuggling of several undocumented immigrants into South Africa.

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The operation was conducted by members of the Provincial Tracking team in collaboration with private security companies. They intercepted two motor vehicles at the Munnik T-junction. The suspects were en route to Gauteng province travelling along the R81 after they passed through the Beitbrige border post.

Upon inspection, the officers discovered a total of 24 undocumented Ethiopian male nationals hidden inside the Toyota Fortuner and Hyundai H1 both with Gauteng registration numbers. Both drivers are also illegal immigrants from Ethiopia.

Foreign nationals arrested for attempting to smuggle immigrants in human trafficking syndicate in Limpopo
24 undocumented Ethiopian nationals caught in Limpopo


Preliminary information revealed that all the 24 illegal immigrants aged between 18 and 40 were destined to Gauteng. This confirmed suspicions of an ongoing smuggling operation aimed at exploiting these vulnerable individuals for profit.

The 24 individuals are facing charges of violating the Immigration Act. Meanwhile, the two drivers aged 28 and 30 will be facing charges, including human trafficking and violating the Immigration Act.

 “This arrest is a clear demonstration of our officers’ hard work and the seriousness with which we treat all forms of human trafficking and exploitation. We will continue to work tirelessly to ensure that our country does not serve as a destination or transit point for such heinous crimes.” Said the Provincial Commissioner Lieutenant General Thembi Hadebe.

The suspects will appear before Morebeng Magistrate’s Court on Friday, 01 March 2024.