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Two arrested in suspect Rwandan sex ring

Two people have been arrested by police in Rwanda on suspicion of being part of a human trafficking ring.

The pair, whose identities have not been disclosed, are suspected of being involved in a ring that traffics women into Asian countries for commercial sex.

The suspects live in a suburb in the capital of Kigali and were arrested on 14 April after a tip-off from the father of a trafficking victim.

A source close to the police investigation, who spoke to the Rwandan New Times on condition of anonymity, said one of the girls had told her family about her travel plans while she waited to acquire a visa.

After the police were alerted, the pair were arrested with three women who were due to travel to China.

"They had already sent photos of the girls as part of the process to secure visas," the source added.

The suspects are believed to be part of a human trafficking ring based in China.

Most of the women are sent to China on the pretext of getting jobs. Once there, they are forced to work as prostitutes.

Supt Theos Badege said the police investigation was ongoing and called on people to be vigilant when offered job opportunities abroad.

"These are people attempting to exploit other in the guise of helping them and the public should be aware of this," Badege said.

"The public should be vigilant about people who promise them opportunities abroad like jobs or education, because in the end they force them into inhumane activities akin to [the] slave trade," he said, adding. "Human trafficking is a real problem which everyone must fight."

In February, the Ugandan government launched a probe into a Ugandan security company accused of forcing 147 Ugandan women into domestic slavery in Iraq in 2009.

In the same month, the Kenyan government also accused some embassies of tricking unsuspecting nationals into forced labour with a similar scheme.

In its June 2011 report on trafficking in Kenya, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees said: "Kenyan men, women and children voluntarily migrate to other East African nations, Europe, and the Middle East - particularly Saudi Arabia - in search of employment, where they are trafficked into domestic servitude, massage parlours and brothels, and forced manual labour, including in the construction industry."

More than 2.4 million people are exploited by criminals annually and about 79 percent of the cases relate to human trafficking, in which girls and women are targeted for sexual exploitation, according to figures from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.