Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Nigerian women forced into voodoo prostitution

Greek police crush voodoo prostitution ring

Greek police said Thursday, November 12th, that they had smashed a gang that forced Nigerian women into prostitution using voodoo in the latest of a number of such cases reported in Europe.

The Athens Police Department said the traffickers are believed to have exploited more than 40 Nigerian women brought to Greece via Turkey in the last two years.

A 20-year-old Greek woman of Nigerian origin was arrested on suspicion of working for the network and police are seeking her husband, who is also a naturalized Greek citizen. Police rescued five women held captive by the traffickers against a ransom of 80,000 euros (R885 369) demanded from their families.

In October, Dutch prosecutors sought prison sentences of up to eight years on Tuesday for ten Nigerians accused of using voodoo curses to force about 140 Nigerian girls into prostitution in Europe. The trial, on charges of human trafficking and membership of a criminal organisation, opened in March in Zwolle in the central Netherlands and judgment will be handed down on December 3.

Prosecutors claimed that the girls brought by the gang into the Netherlands as asylum seekers had disappeared from asylum centres in 2006 and 2007. About a dozen of the girls were traced, while the rest were thought to have been forced into prostitution in Italy, Spain and France.Their ages ranged from 16 to 23.

The suspects were arrested in the Netherlands in October 2007 after an investigation by Dutch police in collaboration with their Nigerian, Italian, Spanish, French, Belgian, British, Irish and US counterparts.In August Spanish police said they had smashed a gang that used the threat of voodoo curses to force Nigerian women to work as prostitutes in Germany, arresting more than 50 people. - AFP


Black magic cultists are using Voodoo to control the minds of Nigerian girls and force them into prostitution. This has been a common phenomenon in the European region involving the human trafficking victims from West Africa.

Voodoo is deeply rooted in the Western African culture. Voodoo priests often use a ritual to "seal financial transactions or root out suspected thieves -- often with a threat of a deadly curse for the wrongdoer." [1]

Likewise, traffickers lure young girls into the false promise of job in Europe and make them go through voodoo ritual. The girls are told that if they leave the traffickers or the pimps, it "will bring death to them or their family." [2]

An incident like this reinforces the importance of raising the awareness and educating the potential victims to bring about cultural changes to prevent further harms in the future.

1 comment: