A combined team of Police and Immigration Department officers in Ndola has detained eight suspects after intercepting four young children of Congolese origin suspected to be victims of human trafficking.
Copperbelt Province Police Commanding Officer Peacewell Mweemba said Immigration officers at Simon Mwansa Kapwepwe Airport apprehend four couples all of Croatian origin yesterday after a tip off from the public.
Mr. Mweemba said documents provided by the suspects to do with the alleged adoption of the four children believed to have been issued by the Congolese authority do not appear genuine.
He said Zambian officials are engaging their Congolese colleagues to verify the adoption documents presented by the suspects.
Mr. Mweemba said in a statement that one of the juvenile victims is aged 1 year and 3 months and the other three are all aged three.
He identified the Croatian suspects as Damir Magic aged 44, his wife Nadica Magic aged 45, Subosic Zoran aged 52, his wife Azra Imamovic Subosic aged 41, Ladislav Persic aged 42, his wife Aleksandr Persic aged 40, Noah Kraljevic aged 45 and his wife Ivona Kraljevic aged 36.
Mr. Mweemba further identified the four child victims.
“Suspected Human Trafficking, be informed that on 06.12.22 at around 20:00hrs, the office of the Divisional Criminal investigations officer received information that there were some three white people who had booked rooms at Spree guesthouse in Kansenshi. They were seen with four young children of Congolese origin. Immediately, the regional immigration officer Mr Steward Chiyaka was informed to organise for some immigration officers to accompany police officers on investigations. The plan was to stop them at Simon Mwansa Kapwepwe at the time of checking in. On 07.12.22 at around 1200hrs, Immigration officers at Simon Mwansa Kapwepwe international Airport managed to intercept and apprehend four couples of Croatian origin, together with four (4) suspected Trafficked children of Congolese nationals,” he said.
“Their particulars are as follows;(1) M/Damir Magic aged 44, passport no. 335086407, and his wife F/Nadica Magic aged 45, passport no.251774604 a couple of Croatian origin. They were with their purported adopted child F/J/ Beatrice – Magic (new parents name) aged 1yr and 3 months of Congo DR, passport no.235045272 issued on 10.11.22.(2) M/Subosic Zoran aged 52, passport no.105013784 and his wife F/Azra Imamovic Subosic aged 41, passport no.313012354, both of Croatian nationals, with their purported adopted child F/J/Mariella Kalinde- Imamovic Subosic aged 3 of Congo DR, passport no.310507680 issued on 22.11.22. (3) M/Ladislav Persic aged 42, passport no.066469016 with his wife F/Aleksandr Persic aged 40, passport no.088641573, Croatian nationals, with their purported adopted child F/J/Kona Asnate- Persic aged 3 of Congo DR, passport no. 026473339, issued on 09.11.22, and (4) M/Noah Kraljevic aged 45, passport no. 267180188 and his wife F/Ivona Kraljevic aged 36, passport no.255816515, Croatian nationals, with their purported adopted child F/J/Jean Val- Kraljevic aged 3 of Congo DR, passport no.021104314 issued on 23.11.22,” Mr. Mweemba stated.
The suspects are separately detained at Chifubu, Kansenshi, Central and Masala Police stations while the victims have been surrendered to the Social welfare facilities.
“Preliminary investigations indicate that documents to do with the adoption of the four children believed to have been issued by the Congolese authority are not genuine, and to this effect, the office of the Consular General of Congo DR were engaged through the office of the Regional immigration officer, Mr Chiyaka Steward. The position on the matter will soon be given, since the immigration is carrying out Investigations. The four couples have been detained at Chifubu, Kansenshi, central and Masala police stations, with two each, while the children have been taken to Social welfare facilities to be taken care of. Command will be updated on any development,” Mr. Mweemba said.