A British nurse who used witchcraft to terrify and traffic Nigerian women into Germany to work as prostitutes will serve 14 years in jail.
A British court sentenced 51-year-old Josephine Iyamu on Wednesday, making her the first British national to be prosecuted for Modern Slavery Act crimes after trafficking five women outside the UK, according to BBC.
Iyamu, 51, was convicted on five counts of facilitating travel of another person for sexual exploitation, as well as perverting the court of justice after prosecutors said she arranged for the relatives of her victims to be arrested in Nigeria.
During her trial on last week, Simon Davis, lead prosecutor, had said the Liberian-born nurse subjected her victims to “voodoo” rituals which involved eating chicken hearts, drinking blood containing worms, and rubbing powder into cuts.
She was also found guilty of using “psychological control” to force the women to secrecy while extorting as much as Sh4.3 million (£32,700) from one of the women.
Testimonies from the victims also revealed that Iyamu had threatened to harm family members if they spoke out.
BBC added that during sentencing, Richard Bond, the presiding judge accused her of showing “a complete disregard for the welfare of these women”.
He said she had exposed them to a “real and significant” risk of death as they travelled across the Mediterranean on inflatable boats.
“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,” he said.
“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.”