Four Croatian Couples In Court For Trafficking Congolese Minors

A COURT in Zambia’s Ndola city has released four Croatian couples on bail after they were charged on allegations of attempted child trafficking.

All the suspects pleaded not guilty.

Workers at a guesthouse say that the couples checked in without children, but on the third day of their stay they noticed they had four minors, from the Democratic Republic of Congo, in their care, local media report.

Three of the children were three years old and the other was 15 months old, Lusaka Times reports.

The couples said they had adopted them, the news site reports, but Zambian authorities said they will verify the claim with their Congolese counterparts.

Testifying before Chief Resident Magistrate Dominic Makalicha, the guesthouse’s General Manager, Estelle Banda, told the court that she got suspicious after the four couples checked-in.

Receptionist Ethel Chabala also told the court that she saw the children days after the couples checked in, and that the minors were crying uncontrollably, a matter that raised suspicion that they may have been held against their will.

The hotel staff informed the police of their suspicions leading to the arrest of the eight Croatian nationals.

The trial resumes on 23 January.

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