SAPS NEWS - PRETORIA: Hawks Welcome the Sentences of Two Human Trafficking Convicts
News, Accidents, Robberies & Incidents
3 weeks ago
Media Statement from Directorate of Priority Crimes Investigation (HAWKS)South African Police Service
PRETORIA – The National Head of the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (DPCI) Lieutenant General, Godfrey Lebeya has commended the effective 12 and 18 years respective sentences imposed on Obioma Benjamin Abba (33), and Chinedu Justine Obasi (30), by the Pretoria High Court on Tuesday for two counts of human trafficking and contravening the immigration Act.
The two were arrested following a multidisciplinary raid at a block of flats in Sunnyside on 09 September 2016. The intelligence driven joint operation was led by the Hawks supported by the Tactical Response Team (TRT), the Department of Home Affairs, National Intervention Unit (NIU), K9, Local Criminal Record Centre (LCRC), Metro Police and Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL).
Following the raid, the two female victims whom the case centred around, recounted their harrowing ordeal to the Hawks’ lead investigator, Lieutenant Colonel Phumla Mrwebi and stated that they were held against their will by the accused at the flat. The victims revealed that they were subjected to beatings and coerced into a life of drugs and prostitution, while the accused benefitted financially.
The victims were subsequently placed at a place of safety and their testimonies were crucial in the successful conviction of the accused.
Investigation also revealed that Obasi had fraudulently obtained SA citizenship in 2011 by marrying a South African woman whom he didn’t live with, hence the court also convicted him for contravening the immigration Act.
“I want to congratulate the investigating and prosecutorial teams who worked tirelessly in this case. We hope this sentence will serve to deter those who are involved in Trafficking in Persons and exploitation of the vulnerable. South Africa remains party to the Palermo Protocol to prevent, suppress and punish Trafficking in Persons, especially women and children as this inevitably fuels Transnational Organised Crime”. Lieutenant General Lebeya concludes.
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