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Nigerian Pastor Omoregie, 23 others arraigned in France for running a prostitution ne
#1
Nigerian Pastor Omoregie, 23 others arraigned in France for running a prostitution network



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A Nigerian pastor identified as Stanley Omoregie and 23 other suspected members of a sex trafficking ring accused of forcing Nigerian women into prostitution will go on trial today in Lyon, France in the latest case to highlight the growing use of Nigerian migrants as sex slaves in Europe.
 
The arrest of the suspects was triggered by an investigation by police in Lyon, where an estimate showed that half the city’s sex workers are Nigerian. Police authorities received a tip about the Nigerian pastor accused of exploiting several sex workers who lived in apartments he owned.  
 
Omoregie denied the charge, which include aggravated pimping and slavery. But in the transcript of a conversation submitted to the court, he is heard saying he wanted “those with beautiful bodies, who can be controlled, not those that cause problems.”
 
The prosecution has presented him as the kingpin of a family-based syndicate made up of 10 women and 14 men, including one of Europe’s most wanted women, Jessica Edosomwan, accused of recruiting destitute women in Nigeria for the sex trade in Lyon, Nimes and Montpellier.  
 
Edosomwan, who is believed to be on the run in the Benelux countries, Italy or Germany, will be tried in absentia. Among the accused is a 28-year-old former prostitute who was herself released from sex slavery after paying off her debts and who in turn brought over another young woman from Nigeria.  
 
Months of police wiretaps and surveillance led to the arrest of the suspects between September 2017 and January 2018. They risk 10 years in jail if convicted. The UN has estimated that 80 percent of young Nigerian women arriving in Italy their first port of call in Europe are already in the clutches of prostitution networks, or quickly fall under their control.  
 
The accused in Lyon cover the entire gamut of sex trafficking activities, from iron-fisted “madams” and violent pimps as well as drivers of the vans in which the women perform sexual acts, and those tasked with laundering the proceeds of the trafficking.  Prosecutors estimate that 17 alleged victims, aged 17 to 38, made up to 150,000 euros ($166,000) a month for the syndicate, selling sex for as little as 10 euros.  
 
Most of the women come from Benin City, capital of Edo State, a human trafficking hotbed with a long history of dispatching women and men to Europe to earn money to send back home.  Many told investigators they had taken part in “juju” or black magic rituals before leaving Nigeria, during which they promised to repay the money they owed for their passage to Europe.  Many of the women took the perilous migrant trail across the Sahara Desert to Libya and then across the Mediterranean to Italy before winding up in Lyon.
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#2
May God kill me if a girl has worked for me - Nigerian Pastor, Stanley Omoregie facing sex trafficking charges in France tells court



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35-year-old Nigerian Pastor, Stanley Omoregie who was arraigned before a Lyon court on Wednesday November 6, denied sex trafficking charges against him while stating that he only wanted to help members of his community.

 

Pastor Omoregie denied running a prostitution racket and trafficking young girls from Nigeria to Europe, but he admitted renting apartments to Nigerian girls. He however said he never suspected they were prostitutes. 

 

Quote:“What do you think these women were doing to pay you rents of several hundred euros a month, without working, since they had no residence permit?”, the court president asked.

 

Responding to the question, the Nigerian Pastor said he never cared where the money for the payment of the service he provided came from. 

 

Pastor Omorogie however failed to give a clear answer on sending a text message in which he told someone that he wanted ”the best, those who are mature and have beautiful bodies", but he then admitted that he once heard the girls talking about being prostitutes.  

 

He concluded his testimony by telling the court ”May God kill me now if a girl has worked for me". 

 

It was further learnt that the prosecution presented him as the kingpin of a family-based syndicate made up of 10 women and 14 men, including one of Europe's most wanted women, Jessica Edosomwan, accused of recruiting destitute women in Nigeria for the sex trade in Lyon, Nimes and Montpellier.

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