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Bogus travel agent who absconded from court sentenced to 12 years

Baku beach in Azerbaijan

Pixabay -Stock image


A bogus travel agent who duped a company out of more than R6 million has been sentenced to 12 years in prison.

Micheal Janse van Vuuren, 36, was sentenced in the Palm Ridge Magistrates Court on Tuesday.

The spokesperson for the Hawks Colonel Katlego Mogale says during December of 2018, van Vuuren presented himself as a travel agent to a complainant and promised to assist with arrangements for a trip for his company.

He says van Vuuren promised an all-inclusive holiday package with return flight tickets, accommodation, and even tickets to the Baku Grand Prix in Azerbaijan.

Colonel Mogale says when the client paid over the money, van Vuuren never made good on his promise and used the money for personal gain.

He says van Vuuren was arrested and made several court appearances, but absconded before his conviction in October.

A warrant of arrest was issued and van Vuuren was convicted, in absentia on the 1st of November 2023.

Colonel Mogale says the Hawks eventually tracked him down at Buffalo Hotel in Komatipoort, Mpumalanga where he was arrested.

The convicted fraudster made a brief appearance in the Komatipoort Magistrates Court where he was remanded in custody.

Van Vuuren was brought before the Palm Ridge Court on Tuesday where he was slapped with a 12-year prison sentence.