The Nigerian woman, Franca Asemota, 38, accused of human trafficking in the UK has been convicted and jailed for 22 years.
She was accused of luring mainly orphans from remote Nigerian villages with the promise of jobs and education. Prosecutors also said she also used “witchcraft, threats, ‘Ju-Ju’ rituals and sexual violence to ensure they did as they were told before being sold to the sex industry in Europe”.
According to UK’s National Crime Agency (NCA), she was convicted on Wednesday at Isleworth Crown Court on 12 counts of conspiracy to traffic persons for sexual exploitation, trafficking persons outside of the United Kingdom for sexual exploitation and assisting unlawful immigration. She was handed the 22-year jail term on Thursday.
“Auntie Franca” as she is known, used Heathrow Airport as a hub to smuggle at least 40 children and young adults into Europe.
Franca was arrested in Benin City, Nigeria, in March 2015 following an operation co-ordinated by the National Crime Agency, working in partnership with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). Once her identity was confirmed Asemota was then extradited to the UK in January this year.