Police officer found guilty of luring Zimbabwean job seekers into slave labour in the Middle East


Police officer convicted of human trafficking: Zimbabwean job seekers subjected to slave labour in the Middle East

In a shocking case of human trafficking, a 38-year-old police officer has been found guilty and awaits sentencing for his role in luring Zimbabwean job seekers to the Middle East, where they were subjected to slave labour and exploitation. Forward Mashonganyika, along with his co-accused Tendai Muswe, played a key role in orchestrating the trafficking operation, leaving victims stranded without their passports upon arrival in Oman.

During the trial, Magistrate Estere Chivasa listened to harrowing testimonies from the victims, who revealed that Mashonganyika and his associates were instrumental in facilitating their trafficking to Oman, where they fell prey to a web of exploitation and abuse.

According to the prosecution led by Ngoni Kaseke, the ordeal began in February 2022 when Mashonganyika, Muswe, Hassan Mohammed Ali Shihhi (based in Oman), and a local agent conspired to deceive the victims with promises of lucrative hotel jobs in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Mashonganyika used a WhatsApp group to advertise these non-existent opportunities, enticing three victims with the prospect of high-paying positions.

The court established that Mashonganyika housed the victims for three days before they departed Zimbabwe. He then organized visas, air tickets, medical examination reports, and transportation to Oman instead of Dubai, as initially promised. Disturbingly, photographs obtained from the victims were handed over to their slave masters in Oman, enabling their identification at Muscat International Airport.

Upon their arrival in Oman, the victims were immediately taken to an undisclosed location, where they were subjected to Mashonganyika’s commands and forced into domestic work as housemaids. Trapped in a cycle of exploitation, the victims endured gruelling hours of labour without any remuneration, while also suffering ƨǝxuɑl and physical abuse. Their freedom of movement was curtailed, forcing them to remain indoors under strict surveillance.

The shocking plight of these victims came to light when they bravely reported their ordeal to the police, who then involved Interpol in the investigation. The collaboration between the international law enforcement agencies ultimately led to the arrest and subsequent conviction of Mashonganyika on charges of human trafficking.

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