Crime

Woman, 55, sentenced to seven years for trafficking girls abroad for prostitution

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By Sodiq Adelakun

A Federal High Court in Lagos has sentenced a 55-year-old woman, Patricia Igbinovia, to seven years imprisonment for trafficking young girls abroad for prostitution.

The court also ordered the convict to pay the sum of N1 million for her illicit act, in addition to serving the sentence.

The convict, who was charged with six counts bordering on trafficking young girls, promoting girls’ prostitution and sexual exploitation, was arraigned before Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke by the National Agency for Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons, NAPTIP, but pleaded guilty to the charge.

In the charge, the Prosecutor, Mrs Becky Jibo, said the convict belonged to a cartel that organises and sponsors foreign travel for girls, to promote prostitution and sexual exploitation.

She said the convict recruited girls to go from Lagos to Málaga, in Spain, for prostitution.

Following the convict’s guilty plea, the prosecutor appealed to review the facts of the case which the court granted.

The prosecutor called a witness, Mrs Mabel Bajulaiye, a member of the team that investigated the intelligence about the Nigerian organised crime group.

The witness told the court how, sometime in 2016, the Federal Government through the office of the Attorney General, received intelligence about a crime group that trafficked young girls to Madrid and Málaga in Spain.

Bajulaiye said the girls were made to work as prostitutes for sexual exploitation and monetary gain.

According to the witness, the crime was uncovered due to the synergy between the Nigerian and Spanish Governments on human trafficking and prostitution.

In his verdict, Justice Aneke said he listened to the defence’s plea for leniency, especially as the convict did not waste the time of the court.

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