A group of men portrayed as possible human traffickers in a Logan TikTok video that went viral turned out to be refugees from Afghanistan who served alongside the U.S. military before fleeing the country during last year’s Taliban takeover. And people who know them say the allegations are unfounded.
On Sunday, Tessah Marie turned to TikTok to post a video she took at the carnival in Cache Valley Mall’s parking lot. The video shows several men with their phone cameras on recording the excitement of the scene.
“STOP HUMAN TRAFFICKING!!!” the TikTok video said in red letters. “These men were walking around on FaceTime with people & recording kids on rides at our local carnival! They had no children or family with them!”
Marie also posted still frames of the video on Cache Valley 411, a local Facebook group with over 22,000 members. While at the carnival, she called the police, who arrived and informed her recording in public is not illegal.
“However, the officer offered to walk around and make contact with the individuals,” said Logan City Police Department Assistant Chief Jeff Simmons. “They weren’t able to locate the individuals matching the description that she’d provided.”
According to Cache Refugee and Immigrant Connection Director Danny Beus, the men featured in the video are refugees who were members of the Afghan military before the Taliban gained control of their country after the U.S. withdrew. They assisted U.S. troops.
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This article is published through the Utah News Collaborative, a partnership of news organizations in Utah that aim to inform readers across the state.