Nigerian prostitution mafia queen extradited to Italy
A most wanted Nigerian mafia queen has been received by the Italian police on her way straight into prison for exporting young compatriots to Europe where they are allegedly forced into prostitution by coercion.
The woman simply identified as Ms Joy Jeff was handed prison term in absentia after she allegedly bolted from Italy where she was under chase by the authorities. Her escape prompted the Italian police to demand collaboration with Nigerian authorities for her arrest and repatriation.
African sex trade in Europe is popularly dominated by Nigerian prostitutes most of whom are victims of international cartel rings that thrive on trafficking and exploitation of young local girls.
Joy Jeff, according to the Italian police, has been wanted in Italy since 2010 and has now been flown from Abuja back to Rome where she has been sentenced to 13 years in prison for crimes including running a prostitution ring.
The 48 year old woman was one of the few women on Italy’s most-wanted list, police said in a statement, describing her as a prominent figure in the Nigerian mafia.
The extradition was facilitated by a treaty signed by Nigeria and Italy in 2020. She was arrested in Nigeria on June 4, 2022, on an international warrant issued by Italy, the statement said.
Italian investigators in the eastern city of Ancona said Jeff played a leading role in trafficking women to Italy, Spain and the Netherlands, where they were forced into prostitution by violence and threats. She has been convicted in her absence.
Video released by the Italian police showed the woman being flown from the Nigerian capital Abuja to Ciampino airport in Rome where she was taken away in a wheelchair by police.
“Africa today is a strategic location when looking for fugitives and fighting organised crime,” said Vittorio Rizzi, an Italian police chief responsible for international coordination.
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