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Interpol bursts criminal networks, rescues 85 Europe-bound child slaves in Sudan

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Nearly 100 human trafficking victims have been rescued in a major police operation in Sudan, including dozens of children forced to work in illegal gold mines, Interpol said on Monday.

Operation Sawiyan involved 200 Sudanese police officers who rescued 94 people, including 85 minors, from criminal networks in and around the capital, Khartoum, in an Interpol-led week-long crackdown last month, the global police organization said.

They also arrested 14 suspected traffickers and seized 20,000 dollars which they believe included ransom money sent by a victim’s family to buy his freedom, the organization added.

Many of the victims were from other African countries and believed to have been traveling toward Europe when they fell into the hands of traffickers, said Tim Morris, Interpol’s executive director of police services.

“We believe that they were transiting through Sudan and then kidnapped en route and diverted into these forced labor activities,” Morris told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

The victims came from Chad, Democratic Republic of Congo, Eritrea, Niger, Sudan and South Sudan, he said.

Read also: Mozambique to cage journalists with hefty foreign media license fees

Sudan is a source and transit country for African migrants hoping to reach Europe via Libya and the Mediterranean, according to the U.N. Organization for Migration (IOM).

The north African nation has one of the world’s highest rates of slavery – with about 465,000 people enslaved or one in 80 of its population – the 2018 Global Slavery Index found.

The operation was part of a series of Interpol raids on human trafficking in North Africa and the Sahel that are largely focused on migration routes, according to Morris.

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Africa’s ‘youngest billionaire’ Dewji abducted in Tanzania

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Africa’s ‘youngest billionaire’ Dewji abducted in Tanzania

The man said to be Africa’s youngest billionaire has been kidnapped by masked gunmen in Tanzania’s main city Dar es Salaam, police say.

Mohammed Dewji, 43, was abducted outside a swanky hotel gym where he was going for his routine morning workout.

Three people have been arrested in connection with the incident and two of the abductors were believed to be foreign nationals, police added.

The motive for Mr Dewji’s abduction is still unclear.

Financial magazine Forbes puts his wealth at $1.5bn (£980m), and has described him as Tanzania’s only billionaire.

In a 2017 report, it said Mr Dewji was Africa’s youngest billionaire.

Mr Dewji is also a major sponsor of one of Tanzania’s biggest football teams, Simba.

He promised in 2016 to donate at least half his fortune to philanthropic causes, Forbes said.

Read also: Interpol bursts criminal networks, rescues 85 Europe-bound child slaves in Sudan

Mr Dewji, locally known as Mo, is credited with turning his family business from a wholesale and retail enterprise into a pan-African conglomerate, reports the BBC’s Athuman Mtulya from Dar es Salaam.

His company, METL, has interests in textile manufacturing, flour milling, beverages and edible oils in at least six African states.

Mr Dewji served as a ruling party MP for a decade until 2015. He told the BBC in a 2014 interview that this possibly made it easier for him to meet top politicians, but it did not give him an unfair advantage, as other businessmen also had access to them.

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‘I felt the bus swerve from one side to the other.’ How 55 people died in Kenya bus crash

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Fifty-five people were killed when their bus left the road, rolled down a slope and crashed in western Kenya, an official said Wednesday, with the roof of the bus ripped off.

“The information we have is that the driver lost control,” Kericho County police commander James Mugera told The Associated Press.

“I felt the bus swerve from one side to the other and then I found myself in the middle of nowhere,” passenger Joseph Obonyo told the AP. “There was a body near me and people were being thrown out of the bus, flying out of it like airplanes, and where we were thrown that was it. … I am only able to say that God saved me and I am truly thankful.”

The bus had been traveling from the capital, Nairobi, to the western town of Kakamega when the accident occurred around 4 a.m., Rift Valley regional police boss Francis Munyambu said.

Read also: Interpol bursts criminal networks, rescues 85 Europe-bound child slaves in Sudan

The bus was not licensed to operate at night and its owners will face charges, regional traffic police boss Zero Arome said. “It is very unfortunate what has happened and action will be taken,” he said.

According to government statistics, around 3,000 Kenyans die every year in road accidents. In the 2015 Global Status Report on Road Safety, the World Health Organization said Kenyan roads are among the most dangerous in the world, claiming around 29.1 lives per 100,000 people.

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Murder of Nigerian: South African court grants 8 alleged killer-cops bail

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Murder of Nigerian: South African court grants 8 alleged killer-cops bail

The eight South African police officers arrested in connection with alleged brutal murder of a Nigerian in 2017 have been released on bail by that country’s Magistrate Court.

Adetola Olubajo, President of the Nigerian Union in South Africa (NUSA), confirmed the latest development to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on telephone from Pretoria on Monday.

Olubajo said that South Africa’s Independent Police Investigating Directorate (IPID) had indicted the eight cops for the torture and murder of Mr Badmus Olalekan Ibrahim on Oct. 10, 2017.

“The eight police officers (six men and two women) were released Monday on bail of R3,000 (about N72,000) each among other conditions by the Vanderbijlpark Magistrate Court.

“One of the bail conditions is that the released police officers should not in any way interfere with witnesses.

“The eight police officers made application for bail at the magistrate court today (Oct. 8) with three lawyers representing them,” he told NAN.

Olubajo said that IPID, an independent unit outside the South African Police Department, had opposed the bail application through the IPID Principal Investigating Officer, Mr Tulani Makagula.

Read also: Burundi head teacher gets 5-year term

He said the magistrate granted the wish of the defendants and adjourned the matter until Nov. 13 for further hearing.

“The court premises and room were filled with members of the Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union, who were in solidarity with their members indicted for torture and murder of Ibrahim.

“The police union have thrown their weight behind their accused members, pledging legal support for them.

According to unofficial sources, up to 800,000 Nigerians mostly young people reside in South Africa.

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