File photo: A man in handcuffs

Man jailed 45 years for trafficking Zimbabwean women, forcing them into sex work

A Nigerian man has been sentenced to an effective 45 years’ imprisonment for human trafficking. He was arrested in 2018 after two Zimbabwean women were rescued. The women were kept locked up and were forced into sex work.

A NIGERIAN man accused of human trafficking has been handed two life sentences in the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria.

Alaba Makonjuola Asabi, 38, was arrested by the Hawks’ Human Trafficking Section in connection with a 2018 case in which two Zimbabwean women were rescued after being forced into sex work, said Hawks spokesperson Brigadier Nomthandazo Mbambo.

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“A case of human trafficking was opened, which culminated in the arrest of a Nigerian male and the rescue of two Zimbabwean females,” added Mbambo.

“The accused controlled the victims by locking them in a private dwelling. This took place over a period of two years before they were rescued in 2018. The victims were successfully repatriated to their country of origin.”

Asabi was found guilty of two counts of trafficking in persons, for which he was sentenced to two life terms. He was also sentenced to 10 years for the possession and manufacturing of child pornography and 15 years for financially benefitting from the services of a human trafficking victim, as defined by the Trafficking in Persons Act, said Mbambo.

“He is to serve an effective total of 45 years’ direct imprisonment.”

Asabi was declared a prohibited person under the Immigration Act, said Mbambo, and the judge ordered his particulars to be included in the national register for sex offenders.

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