Youth falling victim to dubious travel agents ……possible human trafficking at play

Tujoromajo Kasuto

OVER a hundred Namibians, mostly youth, have been duped and abandoned in foreign countries by unscrupulous people posing as travel agents leaving them high and dry penniless in foreign countries.

The ambitious youth are scammed under the pretext of being assisted with travel arrangements, losing substantial sums of money in the process.

According to Tousy Tjijombo, a concerned Namibian citizen who has lived abroad and is assisting to “rescue” the stranded youth in foreign destinations, the number is constantly rising as they continue to receive more complaints from family members whose loved ones are stuck abroad.

She claims that a group of Namibian youngsters is currently stranded in Oman, a country in the Arabian Gulf. It stretches from the southeastern coast of the Arabian Peninsula to the Persian Gulf’s mouth. Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Yemen all share land borders with Oman.

They travelled there as caregivers under supposed lucrative employment

contracts, but after they arrived, it was an entirely different

scenario, as they are now paid as little as 3000 Namibian dollars in a

foreign country.

Additionally, she says that the living conditions are allegedly deplorable, as they are only given sleeping wear and thin throwers in very cold conditions.

The young girls are forced to care for families of over 10 people and one who has requested to be returned back home is being held “hostage” until the family provides over N$40 000 to the traffickers.

Meanwhile another group is stranded in South Africa after they were supposed to travel to England but their flight tickets provided by the ”travel agent” were not in order and they could not continue their journey.

Tjijombo shares that a mother of two daughters who are in this situation has spent over N$50 000 for each one and other family members are constantly scammed as they are requested to pay up every week.

She says that just last week over five victims forked out various amounts varying from around N$50 000 to N$ 100 000 each for one person.

Namibian Police (NamPol) spokesperson, Deputy Commissioner Kauna Shikwambi confirmed the matter and affirmed that “relevant authorities have already commenced with investigations.”

She says economic crimes are very prevalent, almost daily, where we have scammers operating syndicates and soliciting funds under false pretences.

Hence, she adds, “time and again we continue to warn, alert and educate members of the public to be wary of possible scammers but it seems like our caution continues to fall on deaf ears.”

She urges Namibians to earnestly start to learn to be wise and not allow themselves to be lured into and easily convinced by scammers.

“The best is to be careful and to refrain from suspicious “back door” dealings. Fraudsters always use irresistible low prices to attract their victims,” she adds.



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