RE: [Stop-traffic] News/US: Couple convicted of enslaving Nigeria n girls

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Subject: RE: [Stop-traffic] News/US: Couple convicted of enslaving Nigeria n girls
From: Jo Doezema (
Date: Tue Aug 01 2000 - 12:43:36 EDT

I haven't been keeping close tabs, but it seems to me that most of the cases
of trafficking tried recently in the US have involved immigrants or people
living in other countries as accused traffickers. Does anyone else get this
impression? If so, aren't their dangers of this increasing the fear/hatred
of migrants in the US?

Ms. Jo Doezema
Ph.D. Candidate
Institute of Development Studies
University of Sussex
Brighton BN1 9RE
Tel: +44 (0)1273 606 261 ext. 4071
Fax: +44 (0)1273 621 202/691647

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Melanie Orhant []
> Sent: Sunday, July 30, 2000 4:39 PM
> To:
> Subject: [Stop-traffic] News/US: Couple convicted of enslaving
> Nigerian girls
> Two more traffickers have been convicted! This is great news.
> Melanie.......
> ____________________
> Couple convicted of enslaving Nigerian girls
> RTw 6-15-00 10:32 PM
> Reuters Ltd.
> By Gail Appleson, Law Correspondent
> NEW YORK, June 15 (Reuters) - A federal jury has convicted a former
> New York City child welfare worker and her husband for smuggling two young
> Nigerian girls into the United States and beating and forcing them to be
> their servants.
> Prosper Emeka Udogwu, 49, and Ifeoma Ezeonu Udogwu, 40, who had been
> living in Elmsford, New York, were convicted late Wednesday by a Manhattan
> federal jury.
> The couple was convicted of all charges against them including
> involuntary servitude, inducing an alien to enter the United States, and
> various immigration offences and making false statements to the
> Immigration
> and Naturalisation Service. Prosper Udogwu faces a possible maximum prison
> term of 40 years and his wife faces a possible 45 year term.
> Until she was arrested in July 1999, Ifeoma Udogwu had been employed
> by New York City's Administration for Children's Services where her duties
> included investigating child abuse cases. She had been employed by ACS
> since 1988 and had investigated child abuse cases until 1998.
> At the time of her arrest she had evaluated the placement needs of
> children coming into foster care.
> Ifeoma Udogwu was also convicted of mail fraud in connection with a
> scheme to fraudulently obtain thousands of dollars of Social Security
> benefits that were supposed to be paid to her young niece and nephew.
> Udogwu had claimed she would take care of the children when in fact she
> had
> sent them back to Nigeria.
> Prosecutors said in 1987 the couple brought a 10-year old girl named
> Rosemary from Nigeria to be their servant and to provide child care for
> their own children who were under the age of three at the time.
> The evidence showed that the Udogwus did not enroll Rosemary in
> school
> until authorities began questioning them about her presence in the home.
> To
> avoid any further investigation, they sent her back to Nigeria.
> Later in 1989, the couple smuggled another girl Beatrice, who was 13
> at the time, into the United States. She was forced to work as a servant
> for about nine years.
> They barred her from speaking to anyone outside their home, forbade
> her from using the telephone, withheld her identification and other
> documents, threatened to harm her family and beat her so severely that she
> was scarred.
> In one 1993 incident, Prosper Udogwu beat her so hard that she fell
> down the stairs, cutting her arm on the stair rail. An FBI agent said in
> court papers that the girl's arm is still scarred from the beating. The
> agent alleged that there were incidents between 1989 and 1998 in which the
> girl was forced to kneel on the floor and hold her hands above her head
> for
> long periods of time while she was beaten. The agent said the girl's knees
> are still scarred and discoloured.
> In August 1998, when Beatrice said she wanted to leave the house,
> the
> couple refused to release her green card and beat her for more than an
> hour. The case came to light when the girl's screams caused neighbours to
> call the police.
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