The Pretoria Regional Court on Friday sentenced Onyekachi Eze Okechukwu to two life sentences and an additional 39 years on eight counts for the illegal and intentional trafficking for sexual purposes of two female victims in Pretoria.
Okechukwu was arrested by the Hawks’ Serious Organised Crime investigating unit in May 13 in Pretoria where he ran a brothel and held the two victims captive. The two victims 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,” said the South African Police Service.
The National Head of the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation, Lieutenant General Godfrey Lebeya, welcomed the sentencing and applauded the investigation team for working around the clock to ensure the conviction and sentencing of 39-year-old Okechukwu.