‘Trafficking victim sought affair with my husband’

Joy Imasogie: Denies role in trafficking or prostitution.

A woman accused of trafficking a Nigerian woman into the country and forcing her to work as a prostitute has claimed that the alleged victim was having an affair with her husband.

The complainant previously told a jury that she underwent a “voodoo process” in Nigeria during which she swore she would not report the alleged trafficker, Joy Imasogie.

She said that, once in Ireland she had to have sex with up to 10 men a day to pay off a €50,000 “debt” to Ms Imasogie arising from her being brought to Ireland.

Ms Imasogie, aged 40, of Chapleswood Crescent, Hollystown, Dublin 15, has pleaded not guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to organising for the woman to enter the country illegally, to compelling or coercing the woman to be a prostitute, and to controlling or directing the activities of prostitution for gain on dates between March 2006 and April 2008.

Yesterday, the jury heard Ms Imasogie’s garda interviews, in which she denied trafficking or involvement in prostitution.

Noel Devitt, prosecuting, said Ms Imasogie told gardaí she came to Ireland from Nigeria in 2002 and worked in several jobs. She said she was married and had five children, including three in Ireland.

Over the course of three interviews conducted in late 2010, Ms Imasogie said she knew the alleged victim but denied charging her €50,000 to bring her to Ireland. She said she had never met her before she came to this country.

“I didn’t bring her so why would I discuss money with her,” she told gardaí.

Ms Imasogie said sometimes the woman would come to her house to do her hair in exchange for food but denied making her work as a prostitute.

She said she visited the alleged victim in prison when she was arrested for being in Ireland illegally but said that she would also do this for other Nigerians.

“She was having an affair with my husband for three years,” Ms Imasogie said. “She wanted to have a baby with him.”

The accused also claimed the mother of the alleged victim was using voodoo to take her husband away from her but “did not succeed”.

Gardaí put it to Ms Imasogie that she ran a prostitution business from several premises around Dublin. The accused denied this and said she had never even visited the premises.

The trial continues before Judge Patricia Ryan and a jury.

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