By Paul Katanda
HARARE: A Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) officer appeared in court Thursday charged with human trafficking after he allegedly sent three victims to Oman for labour and sexual exploitation.
Forward Mashonganyika (38), represented by Tinashe Mbala, appeared before Harare magistrate Yeukai Dzuda and he was remanded in custody to Monday next week for bail application.
Allegations are that in February this year, Mashonganyika connived with one Tendai Muswe, who has already appeared in court and Hassan Mohammed Ali based in Oman, to traffic unsuspecting victims to that country for labour and sexual abuse.
It is alleged that Mashonganyika and his accomplices created a WhatsApp group where they advertised non-existent lucrative jobs in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
Mashonganyika allegedly recruited three victims after promising them high paying hotel jobs coupled with good working conditions in Dubai and the victims fell for the lies.
He allegedly processed visas, air tickets as well as medical examination reports and facilitated transportation of the victims from Zimbabwe to Oman, instead of Dubai as had earlier been promised.
The victims only realised that they had been duped upon arrival at Muscat International Airport in Oman.
Upon arrival in Oman, the victims were received by Hassan Mohammed Ali Al Shihhi, who confiscated their passports and drove them to a certain location.
The victims were allegedly sold out to work as house maids and were subjected to domestic servitude, working around the clock with no pay. They were made to feed on left-overs and were sexually and physically abused.
The matter came to light when the victims reported their ordeal through Interpol and relatives back home, who in turn reported the matter to police for investigations, leading to the arrest of Mashonganyika.
When they arrested Mashonganyika, the police searched his house and discovered payments sent from his accomplice, Hassan Ali Al Shihhi in Oman through Money Gram money.
The victims were located and the process of repatriating them back to Zimbabwe is in progress.