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Nigerian Woman Jailed 22 Years For Trafficking Women (Photo)

Nigerian Woman Jailed 22 Years For Trafficking Women (Photo)

Franca Asemota

A Nigerian woman, Franca Asemota, 38, found guilty of attempting to traffic Nigerian girls through Heathrow Airport to work as sex workers in brothels across Europe was on Thursday sentenced to 22 years imprisonment.

Asemota 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.

A statement by the UK High Commission in Abuja, said five of Asemota’s victims gave evidence against her during the trial.

One of them was rescued from prostitution in Montpellier, France, during a joint operation by Immigration Enforcement and the National Crime Agency.

Detectives told the court she was part of a criminal network that trafficked girls, boys and women from Nigeria to Europe using threats to guarantee their compliance.

Asemota was identified as a trafficking suspect in 2012, but fled from Italy to Nigeria when some of her co-conspirators were arrested by Immigration Enforcement investigators.

She spent time in Europe before the NCA tracked her down to Nigeria.
In an operation co-ordinated by the NCA, she was arrested by the Economic and Financial Crime Commission in Benin in March 2015 and was subsequently extradited back to the UK in January this year, after her identity was confirmed.

Asemota was said to have travelled with the girls on flights from Lagos to Heathrow, between August 2011 and May 2012, with the intention of reaching France.

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