By: Yusuf M Hasan
(the picture of the rescued girls has been removed on advice of IOM thus protect the minors as publishing their faces might put them in extra jeopardy)Editor
BERBERA (Somalilandsun) – Two middle aged men are in police custody in Hargeisa following their arrest at Berbera airport on suspicion of being human traffickers.
According to the immigration department the two who were in charge of 12 young girls were arrested at Berbera airport immediately they disembarked from a Mogadishu flight on suspicion of human trafficking.
The 12 girls who are aged between 10 and 15 years were brought from south Somalia with the knowledge of their parents as claimed by one of the men in police custody who also revealed that their final destination was in Saudi Arabia via the Somaliland town of Zeila, then Djibouti from where they were to board a dhow for Yemen.
The traffickers said that the parents and guardians of the girls each paid $390 while the two traffickers chipped in the air fare to Berbera.
The girls who are presently under the charge of the government of Somaliland will remain there until investigations are complete pertaining to the circumstances of their present predicament that is said to be outright trafficking, most likely to a western country where they would have ended up in a brothel.
Recently police rescued nine toddlers at the Berbera port after the couple that brought them from Yemen failed to satisfy police curiosity as per the kid’s parentage. The children have since then been at the care of Hargeisa orphanage while local police in conjunction with Yemeni counterparts continue to trace their parents.
Somaliland continues to be a major transit point for traffickers