Nigerian faces jail after conviction for human smuggling in UK

Nigerian faces jail after conviction for human smuggling in UK

Thursday, August 4, 2016 10:20 am

Asemota: Now faces jail

Asemota: Now faces jail

Franca Asemota, a 38 year old Nigerian woman was on Wednesday found guilty of eight counts charges of conspiracy to traffic people into sexual exploitation by a jury at Isleworth Crown Court, United Kingdom.

A report in Daily Mail indicated that British investigators linked Asemota from Benin city to over six human trafficking trips during which she smuggled over 40 girls and young women into the European country for prostitution through the Heathrow Airport hub.

She was also found guilty of kidnapping of two of the girls who escaped and had been placed in foster care.

The girls were smuggled from remote Nigerian villages with promise that they are going to get better life in Europe, but ended up being forced into prostitution.

Franca, according to the newspaper, then used ‘witchcraft’, threats and violence to force them into sex trade on arrival in Europe.

Prosecutor told the Court on Wednesday how three of her victims, traveling on fake passports were arrested on September 2011 and another two on who gave detailed accounts of the smuggling.

‘They all came from remote Nigerian villages and had all been told that they were going to be educated, trained and employed in France.

‘They all had difficult histories – for example, some were orphans. One was a runaway from an attempted forced marriage,’ Paul Cabin, the prosecutor told the court.

‘They and their families and guardians are told that educational and work opportunities exist in Europe for them.

‘Initially, therefore, the girls go with the gang voluntarily.

‘Their compliance from that point on is secured by a mixture of threats, to themselves and their families back in their villages, the use of ‘Ju-Ju’ rituals and sexual violence, including in one case rape.’

He added: ‘All but one reported at the time that they had been trafficked by a female who accompanied them on the aircraft from Lagos, known variously as Auntie Franca or Violet.’

The trafficking was discovered when Border Agency officials stopped two groups, in September and November 2011.

The were traveling on false passports.

Though Asemota was not arrested at the time, according to the Prosecutor, she sat next to the groups on the plane

Her cover was blown when she was identified as a main suspect in 2012 when some of her co-conspirators were arrested.

But she fled to Nigeria. She was however successfully tracked down in Nigeria by United Kingdom’s National Crime Agency successfully on March 25, 2015.

She was arrested by Economic and Financial Crime Commission in Benin City in March 2015 and extradited to Britain following an order by Justice Abdul Kafarati of the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja on Wednesday, January 13, 2016.



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