There is a trafficking case currently being heard at Cardiff Crown Court that is both disturbing and disgusting. The sheer scale of the operation and the cruel depths of depravity employed by the traffickers to manipulate these vulnerable African women is staggering. However, it is great that those who are guilty are being brought to justice and we thank God every time that trafficking is exposed and the perpetrators face justice.
Here's how the Mirror are reporting it:
Women 'forced to eat snakes in black magic ritual to make them work as prostitutes'
Two young women were forced to eat SNAKES and SNAILS as traffickers used black magic to scare them into working as prostitutes, a court has heard.
A jury at Cardiff Crown Court was told the women from Nigeria were also shaved as part of a ritualistic ceremony designed to frighten them into secrecy.
Lizzy Felis, also known as Lizzy Idahosa, 24, denies a total of seven charges relating to trafficking two women into and around the UK, inciting them to become prostitutes and transferring criminal property.
Her partner Jackson Omoruyi, 41, denies three charges of inciting the women to become prostitutes and transferring criminal property.
Opening the trial prosecutor Caroline Rees said police had arrested a 23-year-old Nigerian woman at the Ambassador Suite brothel in City Road, Cardiff, in June 2013.
The woman told them she had been living rough in Nigeria after her mother died and had wanted to travel to the UK to find her father.
She had met a woman, who claimed to be Idahosa’s sister, who promised to make arrangements for her to travel to London.
As part of the agreement she attended a “juju ceremony” where she had her head shaved and was forced to eat a snail, a raw egg and some dust.
She was told that if she broke her oath of secrecy she would become ill, or go mad or infertile.
Ms Rees said: “She genuinely believed the powers would work.”
The court heard she then had her photograph taken with a man who posed as her husband and was given fake travel documents. She managed to pass through immigration at Heathrow and was taken to Kings Cross.
Ms Rees said: “She did not know what was expected of her. She was taken to a premises full of women dressed in their underwear. There was no explanation as to what was going on but it soon became clear.”
The prosecution allege that Idahosa, of Dressington Avenue in London, told the woman she would have to pay £50,000 in exchange for her travel to the UK.
She started to work as a prostitute and was forced to have sexual intercourse with seven or eight men every day.
She worked in East Croydon, Brighton, Stevenage and Swansea before being moved to Cardiff. The woman estimated that she had paid £45,550 to Idahosa in total.
The court heard a second woman had a similar experience. The woman, who is now 29, was also from Nigeria and met a woman claiming to be Idahosa’s mother who offered her a job in a shop in London but made her promise not to tell her family.
The second woman was also forced to take part in a juju ceremony where she was forced to eat a snake and drink dirty water before having her pubic hair shaved.
She was told that if she broke her oath of secrecy her family would be killed.
The court heard she was given a script to learn, which involved telling immigration officials that she was a lesbian and she was fleeing Nigeria to avoid being sacrificed.
When she arrived at Heathrow she recited the script and was taken to secure accommodation from where she managed to escape.
She made contact with Idahosa who made arrangements for her to travel to a brothel and told her she would have to repay £50,000 in travel costs.
Ms Rees said: “She was devastated and she cried but she could not see she had any option because she felt bound by the juju ceremony. Lizzy threatened to kill her mother and brother.”
The second woman also worked in several locations across England before being moved to Swansea and then Cardiff.
The court heard Idahosa was in a relationship with Omoruyi and they had a child together. The money was transferred between their bank accounts.
Ms Rees described Omoruyi, from Laleham Road in London, as “the financial middle man”.
The case continues.