A 36-year old Nigerian mother of one, Franka Asemota, was last week arrested in Benin City, the Edo state capital, and extradited to the United Kingdom.
She was accused of being Ring Leader of an International child sex smuggling gang.
The arrest which was carried out by men of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Traffic in Persons (NAPTIP) who has been working with the National Crime Agency of the UK since 2011 took place at a fancy shop located neat New Benin market in Benin City, believed to be proceeds of money laundering.
One of the charges against Asemota according to Police sources is that she accompanied about 40 victims of sex trafficking on eight separate flights into Heathrow airport, London, UK, between 2011 and 2012.
The lady who is facing extradition to Britain, where she is wanted for organising a network that trafficked young women — most aged under 18 — from remote Nigerian villages into Europe using Heathrow airport as a transit hub.
The girls were promised education or jobs such as hairdressing in such European countries as France, Belgium, and Spain but were forced into prostitution.
A European arrest warrant was issued for her from the UK, when she was thought to be in Italy but it was later discovered that she has relocated to Nigeria, where the NCA working with NAPTIP and the Nigerian Police traced her.
The UK-based NCA said: “Asemota’s arrest was the result of exceptional collaboration with our partners at home and in Nigeria” adding, “This operation demonstrates our global reach and our determination to track those wanted in the UK, no matter where in the world they are.”
Asemota’s arrest may have been aided by the whistle blown by a Nigerian member of the trafficking ring, Odosa Usiobaifo, of Enfield, UK, who was jailed for 14 years by Isleworth crown court in 2013 for conspiring to traffic for sex exploitation.
In October 2014, David Osawaru, another Nigerian, was jailed for nine years for chaperoning two women in transit to Prague, Czech Republic. He had been arrested by Border Force officers at Heathrow.#