A bogus travel agent who duped a company out of more than R6 million has been sentenced to 12 years in prison.
The ‘agent’ was named as Michael Janse van Vuuren. The evidence was that during December of 2018, Van Vuuren presented himself as a travel agent to a complainant and promised to make arrangements for a Supercar Club known as Le Côterie to take a group trip to the 2019 F1 Grand Prix in Azerbaijan. It was, according to Eastern Cape press, to be an all-inclusive package including air tickets, accommodation and entry to the Grand Prix. Others were duped into parting with their money to attend the 2019 Monaco Grand Prix.
It was alleged that Van Vuuren never booked the trips, but simply pocketed the cash.
Apparently, Van Vuuren was arrested and has made several court appearances, but then absconded before his conviction in October this year on 49 counts of fraud. A further warrant of arrest was issued and Van Vuuren was convicted, in absentia, on November 1.
Subsequently, the Hawks are believed to have tracked him down to Buffalo Hotel in Komatipoort, where he was re-arrested. Van Vuuren was remanded and then sentenced last week to 12 years.