In a quick reaction to our sister paper, Malawi News exposé, police in Lilongwe have arrested two people on allegations that they were trafficking persons to Kuwait.
Central Region Police Deputy Public Relations Officer, Kaitano Lubrino, confirmed the arrests Monday and identified the suspects as Memory Paipalero, 24, from Kaphudzula Village, Traditional Authority (T/A) Msakambewa, Dowa, and Flora Kope, 42, from Tchale Village, T/A Dzoole in the same district.
Paipalero works for Clinton Health Community as Project Coordinator, while Kope works for Ministry of Information as office assistant.
“We received a tip-off Saturday, April 23, that the two [Paipalero and Kope] had booked a room at a certain hotel within Lilongwe where two girls, about to be taken to Kuwait, were being kept. As police, we followed the matter and the arrests were made on the same day,” Lubrino said.
The two girls are Mercy
Msowoya, 24, from Gobowoyo Village, T/A M’bwana, Karonga, and Jaenala Rabson, 29, from Masumbankhunda Village, T/A Masumbankhunda, Lilongwe.
Lu b r ino sai d the suspects are still in police custody as investigations are ongoing.
On Saturday, April 23, Malawi News’ investigative repor t revealed that Malawian women are being trafficked to Kuwait where they are trapped and subjected to all sorts of torture.
The report said once in the Middle East country, the women are made to engage in sex work or some odd jobs and they are not paid the money they are promised when being trafficked out of the country.
It added that the women are being trafficked through Kamuzu International Airport to Kuwait where upon arrival, they have their passports confiscated and they are deployed into sex work or domestic tasks in a hostile environment.
In an interview with Malawi News, Malawi Human Rights Commission Executive Secretary, Grace Malera, said even though Malawi has not done comprehensive studies on the magnitude of human trafficking, there is a growing body of evidence that shows that a significant number of vulnerable populations, particularly women, girls and children, are exploited and trafficked both within and across borders.
The Daily Times recently also reported that a British national, Roy Micheal, and his accomplice, Rabson Mwale, were this month arrested on suspicion that they had trafficked five female and two male infants from Mzuzu City to a densely populated Area 24 in Lilongwe.
The number of victims grew to 11 when the two suspects appeared in court.
They pleaded not guilty to child trafficking and neglect charges.
Reports indicate that Malawi is a source, transit and destination country for men, women and children trafficked for the purposes of forced labour and sexual exploitation.
According to United States of America Deputy Head of Mission to Malawi, Michael Gonzales, Malawi has registered an increase in the number of people convicted of human trafficking from 25 cases in 2014 to 58 in 2015 since the country passed the Trafficking in Persons Act in 2015.
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