A district court in Gauteng, South Africa, sentenced two Nigerians to life imprisonment and 106 years’ imprisonment for trafficking of human beings.
The duo, Frank Amaku and Ilo Promise Somadina (25), were arrested by the Hawks Organized Crime investigation unit in April 2016 in a horrible house in Fourways, where they allegedly ran a brothel and kept the victims captive.
Five victims were rescued during the operation and taken to a safe place.
Godfrey Lebeya, national head of the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation, congratulated the investigation team for their tireless work to ensure that the accused were ultimately convicted and sentenced.
“The punishment could not have come at a better time, knowing that August is celebrated as Women’s Month in South Africa,” he said.
“It’s time to warn those who are abusing women, that they will have to make decisions and that justice will be done.”
One of Upington’s victims was detained at Fourways House, where she and three other women spent months serving the couple’s clients until they were rescued.
Nigerians denied their involvement in human trafficking and repeatedly said they would appeal the conviction.
Their lawyer, Moleko Ratau, asked the court to be lenient with the couple because they were “relatively young” when these crimes occurred in 2016.
The court was informed that the duo had kidnapped women specifically for their financial gain, turning them into sex objects and dehumanizing them, which was evident from Boswell’s testimony that she had been starved and forced to live in terrible conditions.