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Eight Croatians – four married couples – accused of child trafficking in Zambia have been granted bail of about $1,000 each.

A magistrate in the Ndola court, central Zambia, said Tuesday (Feb. 14) the suspects posed no flight risk as Zambian officials hold their passports.

The accused allegedly attempted to traffic four children from neighbouring DR Congo on December 7 last year with the help of a Zambian immigration official.

The children are aged between one and three.

The immigration official who also faces trafficking charges had previously been released on bail.

All 9 have pleaded not guilty.

The case is scheduled to begin on March 1.

The eight Croatians were first arrested and charged with child trafficking in January. The charges against them were dropped on February 6 and they were ordered to leave Zambia within 48 hours.

But when they were about to board a plane to leave the country, they were rearrested on fresh charges.

They were were held in custody since they were rearrested on February 7.

The Croatians facing charges include Zoran Subosic, 52, a guitarist in a well-known band Hladno Pivo, or Cold Beer, Immovic Subosic, 41, an administrator, Damir Magic, 44, an electrical technician, Nadic Magic, 45, a technician, Ladislav Persic, 42, a medical doctor, Aleksandra Persic, 43, a hair salon attendant, Noah Kraljevic, 40, a program director, and Uvona Kraljevic, 36, a dog handler. Zambian immigration official Gloria Sakulenga, 36, is also facing the charges.

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