Police discovered 20 children hidden in cardboard boxes and covered in blankets inside a truck at the border between Mozambique and South Africa, a media report said.
The children, Mozambicans and Thais aged nine to 16 years, were discovered by South African border police during an inspection at the Komatipoort crossing, said Mozambican online news site Canalmoz.
“The children were discovered a week or two ago but the information has been kept secret by the authorities. No one talks because people are afraid,” the website’s director, Fernando Veloso, told AFP.
“Our source is an official from a South African institution whose identity we can’t disclose.”
The children, six of whom are from Mozambique and some of whom are from Thailand, are being cared for by social service workers at a secure location in South Africa, Canalmoz said.
Veloso said he had been contacted by the Mozambican interior ministry and asked to reveal his journalist’s source.
“The ministry didn’t even ask what had become of the children,” he said.
A Mozambican official said he had no information about the incident.