Croats charged with child trafficking in Zambia granted bail

Jan 11, 2023, 6:39 PM | Updated: Jan 12, 2023, 8:48 am
Seven of the eight Croatian nationals charged with attempting to traffic children, outside the magi...

Seven of the eight Croatian nationals charged with attempting to traffic children, outside the magistrates court in Ndola, Zambia, Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2023. The 8 have pleaded not guilty to the charge of child trafficking before a magistrate. (AP Photo/Salim Dawood)

(AP Photo/Salim Dawood)

NDOLA, Zambia (AP) — A magistrate in Zambia on Thursday granted bail to eight Croatian nationals charged with child trafficking.

Magistrate David Makalicha in Ndola, in the mineral-rich Copperbelt province, said the eight should each pay 20,000 Kwacha (about $1,000) bail and surrender their passports to the court.

The eight were named as Damir Magic, 44, Nadica Magic, 45, Zoran Subosic, 52, Azra Imamovic Subosic, 41, Ladislav Persic, 42, Aleksandra Persic, 40, Noah Kraljevic, 45, and Ivona Kraljevic, 46, when they first appeared in court on Tuesday and pleaded not guilty to charges of child trafficking.

They are defended by a legal aid lawyer, Kelvin Silwimba. In the charges brought before the court, the Croatians are accused of attempting to traffic four named children late last year into Zambia “for the purpose of exploitation.”

Media in Croatia had reported that the detained Croats were four couples and that they included Zoran Subosic, a guitarist for well-known band Hladno Pivo, or Cold Beer.

On Thursday, witnesses included an immigration officer and a guest house manager.

Mercy Phiri, an immigration officer at Simon Mwansa Kapwepwe International Airport, said she was tipped off that some Croatians were planning to leave the country through the airport with Black children.

“I alerted the officers who were at the exit booth of the airport terminal to be aware of Croatians who had Congolese children. Later, I was informed that the same people were at the exit booth,” she told the court.

Phiri said the Croatians were reported to have four children identified as Congolese nationals. She said a closer look at the children’s passports indicated that they had entered Zambia through the Sakania border post used by Zambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The Croatians produced purported adoption documents showing that the couples had not traveled to Congo but were instead staying in Zambia. They claimed that a lawyer from Congo helped them adopt the children, said Phiri.

Esthele Banda, a manager at a guest house where the Croatians stayed for five days, told the court that she became suspicious after seeing them with small children two days after checking in.

“We noticed they had Black children when one of the housekeepers found a baby aged one year or so crying,” said Banda.

Banda said there was a communication barrier between guest house staff, the children and the Croatians due to language differences.

“But after we noticed the baby crying, we helped the couple on how to take care of the baby,” she said, adding that she accompanied them to the airport when they were about to fly back to their country.

Banda said a man who booked rooms for the Croatians told her that the couples were in Zambia to adopt children from his foundation.

The trial continues on Jan. 23.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

FILE - The Starbucks logo is seen on a storefront, Friday, Oct. 14, 2022, in Boston Starbucks repor...
Associated Press

Starbucks misses sales, revenue estimates as China falters

Starbucks reported lower-than-expected sales in its fiscal first quarter, with COVID store shutdowns in China overshadowing stronger results elsewhere.
22 hours ago
A girl looks at a photo of the famed mountain lion known as P-22 as the exhibit wall is covered wit...
Associated Press

Famed LA mountain lion’s death shines light on tribal talks

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The life of Los Angeles’ most famous mountain lion followed a path known only to the biggest of Hollywood stars: Discovered on-camera in 2012, the cougar adopted a stage name and enjoyed a decade of celebrity status before his tragic death late last year. The popular puma gained fame as P-22 […]
22 hours ago
FILE - A ferry berths as a partially illuminated Colombo Lotus Tower, a multi complex digital trans...
Associated Press

Sri Lanka marks independence anniversary amid economic woes

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Sri Lanka marked its 75th independence anniversary on Saturday as a bankrupt nation, with many citizens angry, anxious and in no mood to celebrate. Many Buddhists and Christian clergy had announced a boycott of the celebration in the capital, while activists and others expressed anger at what they see as […]
22 hours ago
Associated Press

Friday’s Scores

BOYS PREP BASKETBALL= Chiawana 84, Hanford 44 Cle Elum/Roslyn 78, Kittitas 25 Clover Park 75, Washington 53 Crescent 44, Clallam Bay 34 Davis 65, Sunnyside 63 DeSales 81, Sunnyside Christian 67 Eastside Prep 59, University Prep 51 Enumclaw 57, Franklin Pierce 48 Foss 71, Orting 41 Gonzaga Prep 62, Ferris 50 Kelso 67, Evergreen (Vancouver) […]
22 hours ago
Associated Press

Friday’s Scores

GIRLS PREP BASKETBALL= Anacortes 70, Sedro-Woolley 18 Archbishop Murphy 64, Marysville-Pilchuck 14 Bellevue Christian 37, Annie Wright 31 Black Hills 43, Rochester 33 Cheney 39, North Central 36 Chiawana 65, Hanford 36 Clarkston 72, Pullman 29 Clover Park 51, Washington 18 College Place 52, Kiona-Benton 23 Colton 73, St. John-Endicott/Lacrosse 24 Columbia River 38, Ridgefield […]
22 hours ago
FILE - The American and Chinese flags wave at Genting Snow Park ahead of the 2022 Winter Olympics, ...
Associated Press

China balloon: Many questions about suspected spy in the sky

WASHINGTON (AP) — What in the world is that thing? A massive white orb sweeping across U.S. airspace has triggered a diplomatic maelstrom and is blowing up on social media. China insists it’s just an errant civilian airship used mainly for meteorological research that went off course due to winds. With only limited “self-steering” capabilities. […]
22 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

safety from crime...

As crime increases, our safety measures must too

It's easy to be accused of fearmongering regarding crime, but Seattle residents might have good reason to be concerned for their safety.
Comcast Ready for Business Fund...
Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.
SHIBA WA...

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Croats charged with child trafficking in Zambia granted bail