The Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court handed a twenty-three years imprisonment sentence to a fraudster, Prince Aikepae (35), on Tuesday.
It is alleged that in June 2015, the accused was arrested for being in possession of suspected stolen cellphones worth approximately R170 000, at his house in Ormonde, south of Johannesburg.
The matter was later withdrawn in court under mysterious circumstances, all the exhibits were handed back to Aikepae after he submitted what was later established to be fraudulent documents justifying how he generated his income.
A follow-up investigation by the Asset Forfeiture Unit (AFU), which had already been roped in, to attach the accused’s assets, assisted by the forensic services, confirmed that the documents submitted at court for the withdrawal of the case was fraudulent. The court issued a warrant of arrest for Aikepae and he was subsequently arrested by the Hawks’ Serious Corruption Investigation in July 2016.
The Court convicted Aikepae in October last year after he was found guilty of fraud, corruption and possession of suspected stolen property, resulting in his sentencing on Tuesday, 19th July 2019.
Aikepae has been sentenced to 10 years for corruption, 8 years for fraud, and 5 years for possession of suspected stolen property ordered to run concurrently. Additionally his assets, a lavish home and vehicles worth R3 962 000 have been successfully forfeited to the state.
Meanwhile the National head of the Directorate For Priority Crime Investigation Lieutenant General Godfrey Lebeya has applauded the conviction.
“Fraudsters take time to plan their activities but the acumen of the investigators has pierced the corporate veil, ensuring that the criminal does not evade justice. I appreciate the hard work by the investigators. It is always to our advantage to use the available aids such as Forensic Science Laboratory where a naked eye fails”, he said.