News broke last week about A 51 years old Nigerian nurse who used voodoo treats to traffick young Nigerian women to Germany to work as prostitutes. The London based has bagged herself 14 years jail term in the UK under the new modern day slavery law.
Josephine Iyamu, 51, becomes the first person to be jailed under new modern slavery laws despite her victims having never set foot in the UK. She was found guilty of five counts of arranging or facilitating travel for sexual exploitation after a ten-week trial at Birmingham Crown Court.
Judge Richard Bond labelled her “a predator”. He said: “You saw your victims not as living breathing human beings but as a commodity to earn you money.
You preyed on these five young women and all have been left physically and psychologically scarred by the voodoo rituals they endured. The effect of those ceremonies was to effectively put them under lock and key.”
Earlier during the 10-week trial, the jury heard how Iyamu, who was known to her victims as Madame Sandra, had met her victims in Benin, Edo State.
Iyamu, according to reports, forced her victims to swear oaths of loyalty to her on pain of death as well as coerce them to eat chicken hearts and drink blood containing worms during “juju” ceremonies.
Charging them tens of thousands of pounds, the 51-year-old then arranged for the women to be trafficked from Nigeria through Libya and Italy and eventually to Germany where they were forced into the sex industry.
Liberian born Iyamu became a British citizen in 2009 after being allowed to stay because of her nursing qualifications.
Investigators from the National Crime Agency (NCA) found that despite having a modest £14,500 a year salary from her work as an agency nurse she spent thousands on international air travel and owned a large house in Nigeria, complete with servants’ quarters.
Prosecutors said the voodoo rituals gave Iyamu crushing psychological control over the women, who were too afraid to challenge her.