A British hospital nurse who used ‘voodoo’ magic to traffic Nigerian prostitutes into Europe was jailed for 14 years on Wednesday.
The Nigerian politician, Josephine Iyamu, used a witch doctor to convince her victims they were under her control
The 51-year-old was a ringleader of an international human trafficking crime network and lived in a huge Nigerian mansion complete with a servants’ quarters.
Iyamu would make the vulnerable women undergo ‘Juju’ ceremonies which would involve them drinking blood containing worms and eating the heart of a chicken.
Iyamu was handed a 14-year jail sentence at Birmingham Crown Court on Wednesday, in the first case of its kind in the UK as she becomes the first British national prosecuted for Modern Slavery Act offences after trafficking victims outside the UK.
Passing sentence at Birmingham Crown Court, Judge Richard Bond told Iyamu: ‘Trafficking human beings is an ugly offence it must always be dealt with severely by the courts to deter others from taking part in this vile trade.
‘You showed a complete disregard for the welfare of these women. You saw them not as living, breathing human beings but as commodities to earn you large sums of money.
‘All five of your victims had to be rescued from the boat they were on, before being put into a camp in Italy. You understood the potential dangers, you simply did not care.’
Iyamu charged each of her victims Euro 30,000 and Euro 38,000 to arrange for their travel to Europe profiting from more than Euro 15,000 from one victim alone via wire transfers and cash payments.
The victims would then be forced to endure an arduous five day journey to the Libyan coast which saw them shot at, ambushed and gang r*ped.
They would then catch an inflatable boat crammed with hundreds of people to Italy before being moved into Germany to work as prostitutes.
Iyamu and her husband, Efe Ali-Imaghodor, 60, were arrested at Heathrow Airport on August 24 last year after travelling back from Nigeria.
Officers also discovered a piece of paper detailing a list of items needed as part of the ‘Juju’ ceremonies.