Josephine Iyamu, a British nurse who used ‘juju’ to traffic Nigerian prostitutes into Europe, have been found guilty in the UK. Popularly called Madam Sandra, the 53-year-old woman is reportedly the ringleader of an international human trafficking crime network.
Through a witch doctor, Josephine puts her victims under her control and exploits them, while living a lavish lifestyle from the money made from them. Making 15,000 Euro from each victim to arrange for their travel to Europe, she built a huge Nigerian mansion with servants’ quarters in Benin City, Edo state.
Before the trip, Josephine would first make her victims, which are between 24 and 30 years old, undergo ‘Juju’ ceremonies which would involve them drinking blood containing worms and eating the heart of a chicken. Her victims visited the witch doctor many times in a week and were made to undergo rituals which exercised a control ‘tighter than chains.’
“They were given blood containing worms to drink. A chicken was used to hit her naked body on the back and on the chest. She had to eat the heart of the chicken which had just been killed. And the priest would cut their skin and mouth with a razor blade. Josephine then took small pieces of her victims’ head and pubic hair and kept them in individualised packages and she told the girls: ‘You have now eaten from the devil and if you do not pay, the devil will kill you.’”
The victims would then be forced to undergo a strenuous five day journey to the Libyan coast – where they were shot at, ambushed and gang raped.
She once forced one of her victims to have an abortion in Italy after being raped and impregnated on the journey. Despite still bleeding, Josephine told her that she had to start work as soon as possible as she needed to pay the extra Euro 500 to cover the cost of the abortion.
Her victims were so scared by the threat of the juju that they had to undergo another black magic ‘revokation’ ceremony to undo the oath they took to pay Josephine.
Josephine and her husband were arrested on her way to Italy from Nigeria. Seven mobile phones and more than 30 SIM cards were found in her possession. A piece of paper containing a list of items needed as part of the ‘Juju’ ceremonies and another list with telephone numbers of criminal associates was also found on her.
Guilty of the five charges against her, she will be sentenced on July 4.
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