MASERU — A Chinese national was on Thursday sentenced to 10 years in jail for trafficking three Chinese women to work as sex slaves in Lesotho.
The landmark judgment, the first of its kind after the passing of the Anti-Human Trafficking Act last January, was delivered by Chief Magistrate Molefi Makara.
Zheng Shuxan was found guilty under the Anti-Human Trafficking Act of 2011 for unlawful transfer and possession of persons when he appeared before the Maseru Magistrate’s Court.
Makara sentenced Shuxan to 15 years in jail but suspended five years.
Under the anti-trafficking law, any individuals who are found guilty of committing an offence is liable to a M1 million fine or imprisonement.
According a police report, Shuxan transported the women promising them jobs in Maseru.
“Shuxan told the women that they would occupy some positions in the company but when they got here they found that such a company did not exist.
He then opened a fruit shop,” police spokesperson, senior inspector Masupha Masupha, said.
But a few weeks after their arrival, the women were told that they would start doing a different job.
“They were made sex workers and kept in a room in one of the local hotels where they were sold for M1 500 per night,” Masupha said.
Shuxan was arrested after one of the women informed police that they had been forced to work as sex slaves.
Masupha said the women were rescued from the hotel to go for counselling but two of them disappeared.