May 10, 2019 : Zimbabwe : Suspected human trafficking syndicate ships 200 citizens out

May 12, 2019 | Brainwave Science


In Zimbabwe, suspected human trafficking syndicate has destroyed the dreams of around 200 job seekers who aspired to fill the Canadian job-shortage.

These unsuspecting and desperate Zimbabweans left Harare via South Africa, Wednesday where they were promised to be issued with ‘Canadian’ Visas before getting jobs. These persons were going to work as childminders, cooks, carpenters, hairdressers, bakers and helpers in old peoples’ homes to cover a temporary skills shortage in Canada.

The human trafficking Syndicate might have connections to a former Zimbabwe national soccer team player and his wife.

Officers from Criminal Investigations Department (CID) visited the pick-up point in Harare and made the travelers aware of the possibility they could be turned into slaves, but this information was disregarded by the travellers.

Later these future victims were witnessed preparing to board buses bound for South Africa.

A quick check with the Canadian Embassy in Harare’s offices revealed that it was “ironic” that the people were being promised the North American country’s visas in South Africa, yet it has a full embassy in Harare.

“I came here because we are supposed to board buses to South Africa and process our visas to Canada,” one of the desperate job seekers said on condition of anonymity.

Investigations by this publication also shows that the job seekers were recruited through a social media message.

“We tried to speak to them but the only people who at least listened to our warnings of possible human trafficking were relatives who had come to see them off. They even refused to tell us their destination.”

Police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi was not immediately available for comment. The officer also told this publication that they have alerted the Home Affairs Ministry’s secretariat on the developments.

The Canada Visa Application Centre (CVAC) in Harare is managed by a company named VFS Global. It is the exclusive service provider for the government of Canada, authorized to accept applications in all temporary resident categories (visitor visas, study and work permits and travel document application from Canada’s permanent resident in Zimbabwe).

The country’s economic problems and a high employment rate has forced citizens into taking desperate moves with some ending up as slaves in the Middle East. The visa conditions are prohibitory. Moreover, the work permits are sometimes issued in a language which is incomprehensible. This prevents them from escaping their slavery.


This is not the first incident where Kuwaiti persons have been duped and forced into slavery in a foreign land.  In 2016, at least 200 women were entrapped in Kuwait and trafficked abroad. Later, they pleaded for government assistance to return home. It is believed the women were sold for amounts starting from $2 500 each to individuals that needed cheap labor for a period of over two years.

There is a huge challenge here, it is an uphill task to link a suspect to such a crime. It is evident that the relatives and even the to-be victims are reluctant to admit

Most of the women had been employed as housemaids under harsh conditions and were not allowed to leave, denied enough food, forced to work for long hours while others were reportedly forced into prostitution.

The innocent people fall into such traps by believing in and responding to advertisements which offer to take them out of Zimbabwe for employment under unclear circumstances. The youth should steer clear of such advertisements because they will be risking their lives and end up being slaves in foreign countries. The social media platforms need to be scanned in order to find out the people behind the advertisements. They could be anywhere and anyone. Investigating the medium is expensive, inefficient, and unreliable. However, the ones at the end of the online advertisements must be directly addressed.

Modern technology must assist in interrogation and investigation.  It should promise accuracy, reliability, and cost-effectiveness. The interrogations should be quick yet effective in gathering useful crime-related intelligence.

To save the citizens from sexual exploitation, Zimbabwe must explore ways to quickly put the traffickers behind bars and exonerate the innocents.


Brainwave Science has developed and introduced such technology. The name of this pioneering and cost-effective technology is iCognative. Brainwave Science is a Massachusetts based company which has introduced a modern technology which has completely revamped investigation and intelligence gathering. It is non-invasive and does not need the test subject to be tortured or to be made to suffer. Yet, it does not compromise in any way on the amount of intelligence it can gather. In fact, it is widely applicable to all sorts of areas such as cybercrime, financial fraud, kidnapping, hijacking, national-security, border-security, immigration, and counter-terrorism.

iCognative is backed up by a proven science which quickly detects concealed information by measuring brain waves. The criminal plans and executes the crime, and thus his or her brain is aware of the minutest details. They are embedded in his or her memory. iCognative exposes an individual’s brain to pictures, words or phrases related to the specific crime under investigation. The brain’s response to such stimuli is immediate and involuntary. The brain responds differently depending on whether the brain possesses prior awareness of the information conveyed by the stimuli or not. iCognative system uses a specialized headset which measures the brain responses. and analyses these in the computer system. The result of whether incriminating information is present in the brain of the test subject or not is reported immediately. The iCognative test helps the investigators to quickly move from screening one test subject to the other, and to narrow down to the most likely subject.

In this case, iCognative test should be run on the arrested suspects. The stimuli in this test can comprise details gathered about the crime such as call records, names and pictures of the persons trafficked, images of travel documents if available, email and other correspondence details with their counterparts. The suspects can be shown stimuli such as details of known victims, suspected hideouts, trafficking routes, CCTV images of victims at international and domestic checkpoints.

iCognative can accurately and reliably indicate if a test subject possesses knowledge of a specific crime. At the same time, it can be used to de-construct and get an idea about the structure of a criminal organization, find the position of the test subject in the hierarchy of his or her criminal organization. iCognative, by Brainwave Science, is highly customizable, 99.9% accurate, non-invasive, and easy to learn.

Investigating agencies in Zimbabwe must try out the cutting-edge technology called iCognative, by Brainwave Science to save more victims from falling into the trap, speed up investigations and to put the guilty behind bars.

Main source: NewZimbabwe 

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