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Johannesburg - The Pretoria Regional Court on Wednesday sentenced 39-year-old Onyekachi Eze Okechukwu to two life terms and an additional 39 years in jail for human trafficking and abuse of two women.

Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (Hawks) spokesman Captain Lloyd Ramovha said Okechukwu was arrested in May 2013 at a dwelling in Pretoria where he ran a brothel and held two female victims captive. 

"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," Ramovha said.

The women were rescued during the operation and taken to a place of safety.

Okechukwu faced eight counts of illegal and intentional trafficking of the women for sexual purposes.

African News Agency (ANA)