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'Juju' ritual 'Cursed' victim tried to kill herself after being sex-trafficked to Ireland

Penelope (not her real name) had been working as a water seller in her native Benin City when she approached by a person who told she could get a job in an Afro shop in Dublin.

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Alicia Edosa and Edith Enoghaghase were found guilty of human trafficking, prostitution and money laundering.  (Pic: Thomas Gibbons)

Alicia Edosa and Edith Enoghaghase were found guilty of human trafficking, prostitution and money laundering. (Pic: Thomas Gibbons)

Alicia Edosa and Edith Enoghaghase were found guilty of human trafficking, prostitution and money laundering. (Pic: Thomas Gibbons)

THE grim and brutal reality of sex trafficking in Ireland was laid bare in Mullingar Circuit Court this week as the voices of four victims were heard.

The physical toll of having sex with hundreds of men in brothels all over the country has left their bodies ravaged and with permanent injuries.

But the terror of being a sex slave under a powerful 'juju curse' and a harsh and unrelenting boss caused mental damage that goes far deeper.

Suicide attempts, self-harm, flashbacks, crippling anxiety and chronic insomnia have left the victims struggling to get through daily life.

The ordeal began for one of the women before she even set foot in Ireland. She was raped in Libya ahead of a dangerous Mediterranean crossing.

At this week's sentence hearing, the four women who were the victims of the traffickers gave shocking accounts of their ordeal and the horrendous trauma it has caused them.

Penelope (not her real name) had been working as a water seller in her native Benin City when she approached by a person who told she could get a job in an Afro shop in Dublin.

Alicia Edosa told her she would get paid €2,000 a month and put the arrangements in place for her to travel to Europe.

She first underwent a juju ritual, in which her body was shaved, and she swore an oath of loyalty to Alicia and promised not escape or talk to the police.

She then met Alicia at Burger King in Dublin Airport from where she was driven to Edosa's home in Mullingar.

It soon became apparent there was no shop job and she was expected to work as a prostitute to pay off the €35,000 she was told she owed for the cost of getting her into Ireland.

Her first client was in Edosa's home in Mullingar but it soon expanded to other apartments in the town and then to cities and towns across Ireland from Wexford to Letterkenny at Edosa's direction.

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All the money she took from clients was paid into Edosa's AIB bank account.

Because of the curse she fully believed that if she left she would die and harm would come to her family in Nigeria.

Finally in May 2018, when curses made by traffickers were lifted by the King of Benin, Penelope found herself in Carrick-on-Shannon.

Business was quiet and she was able to make contact with another trafficking victim and together they decided to travel to Dublin.

They walked into Store Street garda station where they told their story to gardai.

Penelope said since then she tried to kill herself which left her with injuries, and that she had "changed for the worse."

She said she had "lost her pride as a woman" because of what she was forced to do.

She was too scared to go for a coffee or a drink if asked by a man. She was too scared to travel back to Nigeria for her father's funeral.

"Alicia was the worst person ever to have come into my life," she said,

The woman Penelope had travelled with to Store Street, Julie (not her real name) had also started her nightmare journey in Benin City.

She too was promised a job in Dublin and at her juju ritual was warned she would go mad and her mother would end up in hell if she broke the oath of loyalty.

Using a Nigerian passport with a fake name, Julie was first flown to Istanbul, then Athens for three days then Lyon in France and finally Dublin via an Italian city.

At Edith Enoghaghase's home in Mullingar she was told she owed €60,000 for the journey and ordered to work as a prostitute.

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