The Director-General, National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons, Ms Julie Okah-Donli, has described the conviction of a British-based Nigerian nurse, Ms Josephine Iyamu, as good omen to the fight against human trafficking.
The Head of Press and Public Relations of NAPTIP, Mrs Stella Nezan, quoted Okah-Donli’s reacting in a statement in Abuja.
The statement noted that Iyamu was convicted by the Birmingham Crown Court for human trafficking.
She quoted the NAPTIP boss saying that conviction is the beginning of the renewed determination by the agency to bring all foreign-based human traffickers to justice irrespective of their location around the world.
According to her, Okah–Donli in collaboration with other foreign partners and law enforcement agencies will continue to smoke out suspected human traffickers and make them to face justice just like their counterparts in Nigeria.
The News Agency of Nigeria recalls that operatives of NAPTIP and National Crimes Agency (NCA) had during a joint operation tagged “Operation REDROOT”, arrested Iyamu under the joint counter-trafficking project called Joint Border Task Force (JBTF).
It said with the latest development, Iyamu had become the first person to be convicted under new modern slavery laws, after being found guilty of trafficking five Nigerian women to Germany to work as prostitutes
She said that Iyamu was prosecuted under the Modern Slavery Act involving victims who had no connection to the UK but had been victimised by a British national.
“Jurors were told the 51-year-old Liberia-born British citizen forced the women to swear oaths to hand over money to her during `juju’ ceremonies.
“These included forcing women to eat chicken hearts, drink blood containing worms, and have powder rubbed into cuts.
“Iyamu, formerly of Bermondsey in London, then arranged for the women to be trafficked across the Mediterranean, with one being told to pay a bill of 37,000 Euro (about 32,700 dollars),” the statement read in part.