The gang conned the innocent 23-year-old
into flying to Heathrow Airport on a bogus
passport with the promise of education, a
job and a new home.
Before leaving Nigeria, she was raped and
forced to go through a black magic ‘juju’
death ritual to prevent her running away.
But when the woman arrived in London, her
employment failed to materialize. Instead,
she was told she was destined to work as a
sex slave in Italy, a court heard.
Convicted: Gang members; Johnson Olayinka
(left) and Florence Obadiaru (right). Continue…
The plan was only thwarted when Italian
authorities spotted her forged ID and sent her
back to the UK.
It is believed the woman is just one of many
victims of the group, based in Africa, that traffics
young women through England to work as
prostitutes in mainland Europe.
Olusoji Oluwafemi, 44, Johnson Olayinka, 45, and
Florence Obadiaru, 48, were convicted of
trafficking the woman into the UK for sexual
exploitation and arranging for her transfer to Italy.
Oluwafemi and Olayinka were also found guilty of
conspiring to get the woman a false passport.
Oluwatosin Osoba, 48, was acquitted of the same
charge following a trial at the Old Bailey.
Judge Rebecca Poulet said custody is inevitable
and sentence was adjourned until July 11.
The victim, who only spoke a little English, had
been recruited by a Nigerian local called
Beneditta in her home village near Benin City.
Her family had struggled financially since the
death of her father in 2008, but she aspired to
become a nurse.
In February 2011, Beneditta offered to help the
young woman by sending her to England to be
educated properly and get a job, the court heard.
She was told the cost would be £40,000 – which
she would have to repay to the organisers.
Prosecutor Christopher Ames told the court: ‘She
had no idea at all what £40,000 was in her own
currency, her life had been very hard after her
father died, and she jumped at the chance to be
educated and be trained for a job, and get away
from the desperation and misery of her current
‘She was very excited, a naive young girl, at the
prospect of going abroad.’
She was sent to the Nigerian capital of Lagos on
March 23, 2011, to meet a man called Felis who
made her a false passport and coached her in
getting through UK immigration.
‘While he was doing that, he began to sexually
assault her’, said Mr Ames.
‘That led him to beat her with a belt and that in
turn led to him raping her that night.’
When she complained to Beneditta the next
morning, she was told: ‘It was what you should
She was then told to pose for photos with a man
who would pretend to be her husband.
In September 2011 she was summoned to the
west African country of Benin to get a visa. The
woman was then told to swear an oath to repay
the money in a ceremony that involved cutting
her armpit and pubic hair and taking finger nail
‘The oath she was solemnly required to take was
to repay that money, £40,000, on pain of death if
she did not,’ said Mr Ames.
‘This was what was known as a juju ceremony.’
She was driven to Lagos on September 12, 2011
and put on a plane to the UK, meeting Olayinka at
Olayinka, calling himself ‘Mike’, checked her into
the Marbella Hotel in Peckham, south London,
and took away her money and passport.
She was next taken to the house of Obadiaru, an
old friend of Beneditta’s, and kept there for a few
weeks with no sign of a job or education.
Obadiaru’s son, who suffers from learning
difficulties, groped her on the first night in the
house in Brockley, southeast London.
But when she complained, Obadiaru allegedly told
her: ‘What do you think you are here for?’
The woman was told she was being sent to Italy
on October 3, 2011, and collected another false
passport from Olayinka’s home.
‘It was then for the first time that this very young
girl from a small village in Africa, miles away from
home, realised she was about to be sent to Italy
to be forced into prostitution’, Mr Ames said.
‘She came to that gradual realisation, and she
suddenly remembered hearing conversations
between some men and their girls in Italy.
‘She couldn’t speak Italian and there was no
question of her being able to work in Italy in the
‘She became very upset and fearful of what
The gang’s plan was thwarted by Italian
immigration officials, who stopped the woman on
an obviously forged passport at Milan Airport and
sent her straight back to the UK.
After she was detained by immigration officials,
the woman led them to the alleged identity factory
in Osoba’s flat in South Bermondsey, southeast
London, and laptops which had been used to
make false documents by Olayinka.
Mr Ames said the National Crime Agency
launched Operation Visionary after quizzing the
woman ‘to penetrate and stop the activities of an
organised crime group based in Africa and here in
England, which has as its aim the trafficking of
vulnerable young women from Nigeria to
European countries, including Italy and France for
the purpose of prostitution’
Oluwafemi, of South Bermondsey, southeast
London, Olayinka, of Peckham Rye, southeast
London, and Obadiaru, of Brockley, south London
denied conspiracy to traffic a person to the UK for
the purpose of sexual exploitation, and conspiracy
to traffic a person out of the UK for the purpose of
Oluwafemi, Olayinka, and Osoba, of South
Bermondsey, southeast London, denied
conspiracy to commit an offence of possessing
false identity documents.
The gang conned the innocent 23-year-old