A female trafficking boss used witchcraft to round up and terrify dozens of teenage orphans from Nigeria before selling them into prostitution in Europe, a court heard today.
Franca Asemota, known to her victims as 'Auntie Franca', used Heathrow as a hub to traffic at least 40 children and young adults into Europe, a jury was told.
And her gang even managed to snatch back two girls who had been rescued and put in foster care in Worthing, East Sussex it was claimed.
She is accused of luring mainly orphans from remote Nigerian villages with the promise of jobs and education.
But the 38-year-old would then use witchcraft, threats, and sexual violence to ensure they did as they were told before being sold to the sex industry in Europe, it was said.
The trafficking first came to light when Border Agency officials stopped two groups, one in September and one in November 2011, travelling on false passports, Isleworth Crown Court heard.
Although she was not arrested at the time, Asemota's ticket had been booked at the same time, at the same travel agent in Lagos, and she was sat next to the group on the plane.
Investigators then linked Asemota to six other 'successful trafficking trips' and the kidnapping of two girls who had been placed in foster care on the south coast, it was said.
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