Police dismiss child trafficking claims

Image: Gallo Images/iStockphoto

Port Elizabeth police have dismissed rumours of child traffickers operating in the Bay, calling the rumours false social media posts.

Police have since appealed to social media users to refrain from posting unverified information.

Police spokeswoman Colonel Priscilla Naidu said that no cases of child trafficking had been reported to police in the metro, despite rumours to the contrary.

Naidu said that comes after false reports were circulated on social media involving two unrelated incidents which appeared to have gone viral since Wednesday.

"The claims on social media warn community members of incidents of kidnapping of children in and around the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro," she said.

"Since the social media reports, police in Port Elizabeth and Uitenhage have been inundated with calls from worried residents.

"Naidu said that one of the rumours was a truck,operated by a trafficking ring, transporting children between Nanaga and Port Elizabeth.

"There was a small van that was stopped which was conveying illegal immigrants. The case is being dealt with by the Hawks and is more an immigration issue," she said.

"There is a lot of information circulating about the abduction of children, and we acknowledge your fear as parents."

Naidu added that while the police support vigilance regarding safety, residents needed to be cautious when spreading unverified information.

"Distortion of facts can have dire consequences and cause unnecessary panic and mayhem in the community. An urgent appeal is made to people in instances where you suspect a crime may have been committed or anything suspicious to contact the police first to verify such information. Social media is an important communication platform and assist police in combatting crime and arresting criminals," Naidu added.


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