As hopes of finding missing Sydenham schoolboy Miguel Louw continue to dwindle‚ police are chasing leads that he may have been trafficked.
A 44-year-old man‚ who cannot be named‚ appeared in the Durban Magistrate’s Court on Monday facing charges of human trafficking.
The man had originally been charged with kidnapping‚ and this grim change of tack by Organised Crime Unit detectives probing Louw’s disappearance gives a glimpse into what may have befallen the boy.
Bianca van Aswegen‚ for NGO Missing Children SA‚ said that abductions were on the up and only 1% of child trafficking victims were ever found.
“Kidnappings have been on the increase and we have seen that in our own numbers. This has also become synonymous with random demands‚” she said.
“Not only girls are vulnerable but boys are in danger as well. Whether or not trafficking is at the heart of each kidnapping is difficult to say and we would have to look at it on a case-to-case basis‚” she added. Van Aswegen said that the spectre of human trafficking was a global issue.