Nigerian pastor Timothy Omotoso was arrested by the Hawks Human Trafficking unit in Port Elizabeth on Thursday on a charge of alleged human trafficking‚ the elite police unit confirmed.
Omotoso was arrested shortly after arriving at the Port Elizabeth international airport by the Hawks and members of the South African Police Service’s Tactical Response Team (TRT) this afternoon [20/04/17].
“The 58-year-old pastor allegedly trafficked young women and girls from various branches of his church to a house in uMhlanga‚ Kwazulu-Natal‚ where he allegedly exploited them sexually‚” Hawks spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Robert Netshiunda said.
He said the pastor would appear before the Port Elizabeth Magistrate’s Court on Friday [20/04/17].
A large police contingent arrived at the airport around 3pm to conduct the arrest.
Shortly before his arrival‚ defence advocate Terry Price‚ who was waiting for his client at the airport‚ got into a verbal argument with a member of the Hawks‚ it said.
Price questioned whether they would be arresting the pastor. The pastor’s lawyer‚ Alwyn Griebenow‚ had previously said his client would be meeting police for an “interview”.
The pastor was handcuffed and escorted from the airport by a number of police officers.
He arrived at the Hawks premises in King Edward Street‚ Newton Park‚ shortly after being escorted from the airport.