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Three men were rescued from two alleged human traffickers in Cape Town over the weekend, the Hawks said on Tuesday.

A taxi driver allegedly picked up the men, aged 21 and 22, from their houses in the Northern Cape after they were promised jobs in Cape Town, said Captain Philani Nkwalase.

They arrived last week and were apparently dropped off at the alleged recruiter, who then allegedly sold them off to a businessman in Athlone.

“Preliminary investigation has revealed that the victims were forced [in]to hard labour and stayed in makeshift unhealthy accommodation,” said Nkwalase.

“Their pleas to be returned home were apparently met with resistance as they were told to first pay back costs incurred.”

A father of one of the victims alerted police to their ordeal.

Two people, both 63, were arrested and charged with trafficking in persons.

They are expected to appear in court soon.

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