According to Hawks spokesperson Captain Yolisa Mgolodela, the Directorate received a tip-off on Wednesday about possible human trafficking activities that were in the planning stages.
The Hawks were told that the mother of two twin girls, that were just five days old, was seeking a buyer for the infants.
“The information was followed up and it is said that the mother had already given the babies to the prospective buyer by the time the information was received,” said Mgolodela.
A joint team, consisting of members from the Gqeberha Hawks Serious Organised Crime Division and the Uitenhage Crime Intelligence Gathering (CIG), raided a house where the alleged prospective buyer was arrested and the twin girls were rescued. “The mother of the twins and one other suspect were also arrested,” said Mgolodela.
The twins were in a bad state, severely malnourished and dehydrated. They were taken to the Uitenhage Provincial hospital for treatment and will be transferred to a place of safety once they are discharged.
The alleged prospective buyer apparently agreed to pay the mother R50 per day to the mother in order to satisfy her drug addiction.
It is also claimed that the buyer was going to use the children to apply for a social grant, promising to pay the twins’ mother a portion of the money on a monthly basis.
The trio are remanded in custody and will appear in the Uitenhage Magistrate’s Court on Monday, 7 June. The Hawks said the investigation is still in progress.
Elsewhere, in an unrelated matter, another trio in the Eastern Cape were arrested for trafficking two minors for sex. A mother, 42, allegedly sold her 13-year-old daughter and another teenager to two shop owners in Keismahoek for sexual exploitation between February 2019 and March 2021.
The East London Hawks arrested the trio on 26 May on charges of partaking in human trafficking. They appeared in the local Magistrate’s Court on 28 May.