Zambia News

Witness testifies, The Croatian couples only had children from DRC two days after checking in

A WITNESS has testified before the Ndola magistrate court that four couples who attempted to smuggle four kids out of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) later had the kids checked into a guest house they were residing in.

Eight Croatians who had reserved rooms at the Spree Guest House in Ndola, according to General Manager Estelle Banda, did not have children when they checked in, but two days later, staff discovered that they all had African Black youngsters.

In this case, eight persons of Croatian heritage who were detained at the Simon Mwansa Kapwepwe Airport with children between the ages of one year and six months and three years old are accused of engaging in human trafficking.

Ms. Banda testified in court during the trial before chief resident Magistrate Dominic Makalicha that each of the four spouses had a black child after being tested.

She said in court that the couples remained at the resort for five days, and each had an African Black child with them as they traveled to the airport.

We only noticed they had children on the third day when one of the house keeper found a baby aged a year or so crying. We had no idea when the children were brought into their premises.

When I tried to ask, there was communication barrier among us, the children and the Croatians. But after we noticed the crying of the youngest who appeared to be a year old, we helped and guided the couple on how to take care of the baby,” she said.

When the state counsel questioned Ms. Banda about the couples’ contact with SBM, the alleged agent who made hotel reservations for them, she responded that she had been told that he was headquartered in Livingstone and that the couples had traveled to Zambia to adopt the children from his organization.

When the couples checked into the guest home, Ethel Chabala, the receptionist, testified in court that they were childless. However, two days later, when the youngest child started wailing, the couples were discovered to be parents.

“Before the couples came to the lodge, a man who only identified himself as SBM called the guesthouse to reserve rooms for two people. On the day the couple arrived at the guesthouse, SBM asked the lodge to pick the couples from the airport while he picked their luggage,” she said.

Mercy Phiri, a deputy immigration officer at Simon Mwansa Kapwepwe International Airport, described how she learned they were Croatians who intended to leave the country through the airport on December 7, last year.

” After reviewing their passports, it was discovered that the Croatians entered the country as ordinary citizens while information obtained showed that the children entered through Sakania boarder. The accused person’s also produced purported adoption documents which showed that the couples did not go to Congo ,but were instead in Zambia. When asked how they adopted the children without having to travel to that country, they said that a Congolese lawyer helped them to adopt the children,” she said.

The case has been postponed until January 23rd so that the trial can continue. Magistrate Makalicha.

The eight have been given a bail of K20,000 cash and two tracable sureties in the meantime.

Four children from the DRC were found with the couples when they were arrested at Simon Mwansa Kapwepwe International Airport last month.

On December 7 of the previous year, Beatrice Magic was the target of an effort to traffic by electrical technician Damir Magic and chemistry teacher Nadic Magic.

In count two, a different couple—Subosic Zoran, a singer, and Immovic Subosic, an administrator of the Constitutional Court—attempted to smuggle Mariella Kalinde Immovic Subosic within the borders of Zambia in order to exploit her.

In count three, Jona Asnate, a youngster, was reportedly attempted to be trafficked within the borders of Zambia by Ladislav Persic, a veterinarian, and Aleksandra Persic, a dog beautician, on December 7, this year.

And in count four, it is also stated that Noah Kraljevic, a human rights activist, and Ivona Kraljevic, a proxy actress at that nation’s national theater, attempted to traffic Jean Val Kraljevic as a child.

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