Updated: March 7, 2021
Europe’s most wanted sex trafficker, Nigerian Jessica Edosomwan, who was accused of acting as a France-based “madam” to women recruited to work in the sex industry, has been arrested.
Jessica Edosomwan’s target was mainly women recruited in Nigeria’s Edo State.
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She would promise them plump jobs while in Nigeria only to turn into sex workers once in France.
Edosomwan was sentenced along with 22 other Nigerians and a French man.
They were all members of a Lyon-based sex trafficking ring to prison terms of up to seven years for forcing Nigerian women into prostitution.
Also sentenced was Pastor Stanley Omoregie, 35, who said he just wanted to help the people in his community.
He denied in court the accusation of being involved in running a prostitution racket and trafficking of young girls from Nigeria to Europe.
Nigerian newspapers reported that half of the 24 defendants were women, mostly under 35 years old, and suspected of being the “mamas” of the network, in other words pimps.
A report said Seventeen women filed complaints against the defendants but none of the victims attended the trial, with the exception of one former sex worker who found herself in the dock for luring another woman into the trade.
Nigeria was the main country of origin for the tens of thousands of migrants who crossed the Mediterranean to Europe by boat in 2016 and 2017.
The accused had faced up to 10 years’ imprisonment on charges including human trafficking, pimping, money laundering and helping people live illegally in France.
Prosecutors estimated that the victims, aged 17 to 38, made up to 150,000 euros ($166,000) a month for the syndicate by selling sex in vans parked by the side of the road for as little as 10 euros.