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Suspected ringleader of criminal network charged under Modern Slavery Act

Joesphine Iyamu was arrested by the National Crime Agency after she landed at Heathrow Airport on August 24.

A British woman suspected of being one of the ringleaders of a criminal network involved in trafficking young women for sexual exploitation has been charged under the Modern Slavery Act.

Joesphine Iyamu, 50, was arrested by National Crime Agency (NCA) officers after she landed at Heathrow Airport on a flight from Lagos, Nigeria, on August 24.

The criminal network is thought to be involved in trafficking young women from Nigeria to Europe for sexual exploitation.

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The National Crime Agency arrested Joesphine Iyamu after she landed at Heathrow Airport on a flight from Lagos (Nick Ansell/PA)

Iyamu, of Wilson Grove, Bermondsey, south east London, was charged with arranging to facilitate travel of another person with a view to exploitation – an offence under the Modern Slavery Act.

She has been remanded in custody and will appear at Birmingham Crown Court on September 22.

A 59-year-old man was also arrested on suspicion of money laundering and has since been released under investigation.

Senior Investigating Officer Kay Mellor said: “Criminals involved in modern slavery see their victims as a commodity that can generate income over and over again.

“They are adept at hiding their activity and often exploit individuals who are vulnerable and may not be missed.

“The NCA, with our partners, is turning over stones, seeking out the individuals who are profiting from this trade, prosecuting them and safeguarding the vulnerable people they exploit.”

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