Woman bust in massive Hawks human trafficking and racketeering probe to be sentenced
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CAPE TOWN - The last of several people convicted in the Cape Town High Court on a number of charges involving brothels, human trafficking, extortion, and racketeering, among others, will be sentenced on Monday, the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (Hawks) said.
Natasha Chang, 41, was sentenced this week in the Cape Town High Court on charges linked to several brothels in Cape Town, including in Milnerton, Table View, Big Bay, and Bellville, Hawks spokesperson Lt-Col Philani Nkwalase said in a statement on Saturday.
Chang was arrested on August 4, 2017 after she handed herself over to officers at the Cape Town Central Police Station "following the termination of a project-driven investigation" that saw several people charged with trafficking in persons for sexual exploitation, money laundering, kidnapping of a minor, assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm, living off the proceeds of crime, and extortion amounting to about R3 million.
"This additional payments were extorted between 2012 and 2015 from several clients who used the brothels' services to ensure that the photos of their sexual encounters would not be posted on social media," Nkwalase said.
Chang was the 10th suspect linked to 50 counts of money laundering exceeding R2 million and racketeering. She was sentenced to three years imprisonment wholly suspended for five years with stringent conditions, including correctional supervision for three years, community service of 48 hours a month, and participation in life skills development and support programmes.
Two other people, Norman Bridger, 34, and Michael D’Oliveira, 41, were convicted following a plea sentence agreement on September 30, 2019. Bridger was sentenced to 20 years imprisonment for racketeering (10 years suspended for five years); six years on each count of extortion (three years suspended for five years); 12 years on six count of money laundering (six years suspended for five years); and 12 months imprisonment for living off the proceeds of crime, suspended for five years. All sentences would run concurrently, Nkwalase said.
D’Oliveira was handed 10 years imprisonment for racketeering, suspended for five years, and six years on two counts of money laundering, also suspended for five years. He was also ordered to pay a fine of R20,000. Fereez Allie, 37, was sentenced to three years imprisonment for assault. Achmad Tofa, 44, and Babalwa Nozigwaba, 39, were acquitted.
Three others, Shantel Reyneke-Bridger, 47, Juan Francois Warren, 41, and Robin Reyneke, 30, pleaded guilty on March 6, 2019 and were sentenced by the same court. Reyneke-Bridger, Warren, and Robin Reyneke were each sentenced to 20 years imprisonment on two counts of racketeering (10 years suspended for five years with stringent conditions). Robin Reyneke was also handed a R50,000 fine or two years imprisonment, while further sentences imposed on him were suspended for five years with stringent conditions.
The remaining accused, Camilla Amelia de Waal Rossouw, 32, would be sentenced in the Cape Town High Court on Monday, Nkwalase said.
African News Agency