People trafficker jailed 18 months

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THE Lusaka Magistrate’s Court has convicted and sentenced a 49-year-old Congolese to 18 months imprisonment for making and uttering false documents for people that he attempted to smuggle to the United States of America.
And principal resident magistrate Kenneth Mulife has committed Jules Mbikay to the High Court for sentencing on two counts that have a minimum sentence of 10 years, which is beyond his jurisdiction.
In this case, Mbikay is charged with four counts of possession of fraudulent identity documents, attempting to traffic people, making false documents and uttering false documents.
When the case came up for judgment, Mr Mulife said the prosecution had proved its case beyond reasonable doubt and found Mbikay guilty of all charges.
He found that Mbikay had forged an identity card purporting that he worked for the American Embassy in Lusaka when in fact not.
Mr Mulife also found that Mbikay had forged letters purporting that the five people he attempted to traffic were granted permanent residence in America when in fact not.
“I am satisfied that the prosecution has proved its case that the accused person had procured visas for the sole purpose of trying to smuggle the people,” Mr Mulife said.
In mitigation, Mbikay asked the court to exercise leniency as he is the breadwinner for his family and that he takes care of his elderly parents, a wife and six children.
He also told the court that he has ill health and requires constant medical attention.
Mr Mulife observed that Mbikay was remorseful for his actions but that the offence he committed was a serious offence.
He sentenced him to 18 months on count three and four, which were making false documents and uttering false documents.
Mr Mulife said only the High Court could sentence him on count one and two, which carry a sentence of not less than 10 years.

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