German national OR Tambo

A 56-year-old man was arrested at OR Tambo Airport for human trafficking. Image: Pixabay.

German national nabbed for human trafficking at OR Tambo airport

A 56-year-old German national arrested at OR Tambo airport allegedly lured women through a dating site promising them jobs in Croatia.

German national OR Tambo

A 56-year-old man was arrested at OR Tambo Airport for human trafficking. Image: Pixabay.

A German national has appeared in the Kempton Park Magistrates court facing charges of human trafficking after police rescued two Madagascan women he allegedly lured to Croatia at OR Tambo Airport. 

Joachim Will, 56, appeared in court on Friday, 3 May. 


Police spokesperson Colonel Philani Nkwalase said Joachim Will was arrested on Tuesday, 30 April, by a joint police team led by the West Rand Hawks’ Serious Organised Crime Investigation, working together with Interpol, Crime Intelligence and Gauteng’s Provincial Border Policing.

Nkwalase said two Madagascan women aged 32 and 29, accompanied by the suspect, were intercepted by Border Management Authorities (BMA) as they attempted to board a flight to Croatia on 19 April. 

“Upon inspection, it was revealed that they had fraudulent Italian passports and were arrested. Further investigation by the Hawks uncovered that Joachim Will, who was accompanying them, had recruited the women through a dating site in Madagascar. 

“He allegedly lured the duo, promising them employment in Croatia with a lucrative monthly salary. 

“Moreover, he facilitated their travel to South Africa, where they met and reportedly provided them with fraudulent Italian passports for their travel from South Africa to Croatia,” he explained. 

Furthermore, Nkwalase explained that in light of these developments, other role players were activated to ensure that the victims were transferred to a place of safety.

He said a disruptive operation was conducted by a multidisciplinary team, resulting in the arrest of Will. 

“The case against him was postponed to 10 May for a formal bail application,” he added. 

German national OR Tambo
A German national was intercepted at OR Tambo Airport with two women who traveling with fake passports. Image: Pixabay.


The National Head of the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (Hawks), Lieutenant General Godfrey Lebeya commended the diligent work of the multidisciplinary team involved. 

Lebeya said the coordinated efforts of our team members have been instrumental in swiftly preventing South Africa from being used to commit crime as a transit venue. 

“We remain committed to upholding the rule of law and ensuring that justice for the victims of trafficking in persons is restored,” Lebeya added.


In 2023, a report on the scope and nature of human trafficking in South Africa – the first of its kind – found that the country is a source, transit and destination country for Trafficking in Persons (TIP).

The report, which was produced for the Laser Pulse Project in collaboration with the US Agency for International Development (USAID), sought to explore the available data and/or lived experiences related to human trafficking in South Africa.

The researchers pointed out that there is no centralised database on South African human trafficking data; therefore, the evidence presented was “deemed necessary” for exploring the nature and prevalence of trafficking in the country.

The key findings of the report were that South Africa is a source, transit, and destination country for human trafficking, with victims and perpetrators often not being accurately counted. The majority of human trafficking cases involve sex trafficking, while labour trafficking cases are limited and in line with international trends.

“Evidence shows that TIP is fueled by several factors. This includes South Africa’s relentless structural inequalities, unconstrained consumer-level demand for commercial sex and forced labour, corruption and widespread indifference and several crippling response deficiencies,” read the report.