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Rustenburg - A house used as a brothel in Klerksdorp, North West, has been forfeited to the State, the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) said on Friday.

Gauteng regional spokesperson Phindi Mjonondwane said the Pretoria High Court granted the Asset Forfeiture Unit (AFU) in the North West a forfeiture order on March 7.

"The AFU applied for the order declaring Erf 1193, 5 Viljoen Street, Pienaarsdorp, Klerksdorp, forfeited to the State on the basis that the house is an instrumentality of various unlawful activities, including keeping a brothel, drug dealing and prostitution," she said.

She said the AFU submitted that various provisions of the Sexual Offences Act, Drugs and Drug Trafficking Act and the Prevention and Combating of Trafficking in Persons Act were violated in the process.

The house was hijacked by drug dealers and human traffickers, and over the years it became a nuisance to the community and local authorities.

The Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (known as the Hawks) in the North West then referred the case to the AFU, and on September 7, a preservation of property order was granted.

Mjonondwane said evidence revealed that Charles Chukwukere Okorie, a Nigerian national, was arrested on or about December 16, 2016 at the property in connection with various illegal activities that took place there.

On March 2, 2017, following another police raid at both the forfeited property and number another at 30 Botha Street, Pienaarsdorp, Klerksdorp, Michael Nzubechukwu, another Nigerian who was also an illegal immigrant, was arrested in Klerksdorp.

"The house at issue was used by Okorie and his co-perpetrators largely as a brothel. Willing participants and victims of the offences were trafficked into the house. Most of them were kept against their will and sexually exploited. The Hawks rescued many of the victims, including minor children," she said.

African News Agency/ANA