Hot gold: five years for trader

2011-12-20 00:00

THE 25-year-old owner of a Pietermaritzburg jewellery shop will serve five years in jail after he was sentenced for possession of stolen jewellery worth R1 million.

Onyeka Eneanya Okwu-dinko was sentenced by regional court magistrate Paul Abelman yesterday.

He was arrested in Johannesburg days after he bought the jewellery from Aadhil Ally and Gavin Chetty in Pietermaritzburg, paying R57 000 for items valued at R1 million.

He pleaded guilty to the charges, promising to be a state witness when Ally and Chetty are tried. They are in custody for theft of jewellery and housebreaking and a decision on their bail is expected today.

In his plea statement Okwudinko said he bought the jewellery — which belonged to Vigee Padayachee — on September 19 even though he suspected it was not Ally and Chetty’s.

He said he was desperate as he wanted to pay for his mother’s medical expenses in Nigeria. He sold most of the jewellery in Johannesburg.

He was sentenced to seven years’ imprisonment, with two years suspended for five years.

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