South Africa: Life Sentence for Human Trafficker

press release

Onyekachi Eze Okechukwu (39) will spend his entire life and then some behind bars after he received two life sentences for years of abusing and torturing two female victims.

The National Head of the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation, Lieutenant General Godfrey Lebeya has welcomed the sentencing handed down by the Pretoria Regional Court. The accused was sentenced to two life sentences plus an additional thirty nine (39) years imprisonment for human trafficking last week Friday, 05 July 2019.

Okechukwu was arrested by the Hawks' Serious Organised Crime investigating unit in May 2013 at a hideous dwelling in Pretoria where he ran a brothel and held two female victims captive. The two females were rescued during the operation and taken to a place of safety where they received counselling and life skills sessions.

The two victims were subjected to witnessing and experiencing physical and sexual violence, threats and encouragement of their addictions.

Although the two victims did not wish to remain in the environment they were in, they were also exposed to the typical mechanisms used by their trafficker who continued to keep them in a web of trafficking that extended beyond physical control to psychological control.

It was proven beyond doubt that Okechukwu played a significant role in the trafficking of both victims, he exploited their positions of vulnerability and physically and psychologically controlled them.

On Friday 05 July 2019, Okechukwu, was sentenced by the Pretoria Regional Court to two life terms imprisonment on eight counts for the illegal and intentional trafficking for sexual purposes of the two victims.

Lieutenant General Godfrey Lebeya, applauded the investigation team for working around the clock to ensure that the suspect was ultimately convicted and sentenced.

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