Nigerian Prostitution Madames Arrested in Italy with Girls in Bordellos.
Arrests made over Nigerian prostitution ring in Italy
By ANSA Latest update : 2018/03/19
Six Nigerians in Italy have been placed under arrest for human trafficking and forced prostitution. The four women and two men had allegedly been involved with organizations which convinced young Nigerian girls that they would be given a job in Italy. Instead, these women were violently forced to sell their bodies, and coerced into having abortions if they fell pregnant.
Palermo police arrested three Nigerian nationals on Friday as part of an operation against human trafficking and forced prostitution. 'Operation Trafficking' has put two women, aged 22 and 37, and the partner of the latter, aged 52, behind bars.
The three had convinced young girls to come to Italy by promising jobs and then subjected them to rape, forced prostitution and abortion. Another Nigerian man, aged 35, who has been detained by police in Trapani, is under investigation for the same crimes.
Inquiry discovers two bordellos
The investigation started after statements were made by two women victims of human trafficking. The women had arrived in Italy, after extremely difficult journeys, only to be forced to sell their bodies, while being raped by the man exploiting them and forced to undergo abortions.
One of the two women was tasked with welcoming the girls sent to Italy after they were recruited by fellow Nigerians. These women were subsequently put into bordellos to make them "pay back the huge debt" they had accumulated from the journey.
The police uncovered two bordellos, one in Palermo's Ballaro neighborhood and the other in Trapani. Both were managed by a woman called 'Aisha,' with the help of other Nigerians, including her male partner. The couple are said to have been responsible for forcing a young Nigerian woman, who had been trafficked, to undergo an abortion. The young girl was reportedly forced, through threats and violence, to have the abortion in order to continue being exploited as a prostitute.
Juju rituals in Bologna
Three other Nigerians were arrested in Bologna on charges of clandestine immigration and forced prostitution. They were discovered through an investigation into a sort of 'assembly line' system. The first step was to promise young Nigerian women that they would be given jobs as housekeepers in Italy, so that they could financially help their families back home. Next, an animist Juju ritual was performed, to subjugate them and make them believe that had to comply with the agreement.
It was through such an arrangement that a 17-year-old girl, who had lost her father, was taken to the Emilia Romagna region by an organization specializing in migrant trafficking and forced prostitution. Two Nigerian sisters aged 24 and 36, and a Nigerian man age 38, have been arrested.
The investigation started in May 2017 when the girl, who is now over 18, asked for help from the Bologna-based NGO L'Albero di Cirene, which helps victims on the streets. The NGO put her in contact with the police.