A Nigerian sex trafficker from Gravesend who used African witchcraft rituals to silence young girls smuggled into Britain to be sold on as prostitutes has been jailed for 20 years.
Osezua Osolase (42) tricked poverty-stricken Nigerian orphans into traveling to the UK with the promise of a better life. But instead the Nigerian treated the victims as “commodities” to be used in a form of “modern-day slavery” by attempting to send them on to mainland Europe to be sexually assaulted by gangs.
Young victims were raped, sexually abused and subjected to voodoo-style rituals once in the clutches of the trafficking ring.
One girl had hair cut from her armpits by a man wearing feathers. Others were slashed with knives, forced to drink foul-smelling potions and had blood taken with syringes to ‘cast a spell’ over them.
The girls were told they would die or never bear children if they tried to escape or revealed what had happened to them.
The man responsible, Osezua Osolase, was on the surface a recycling worker living in a terraced house in Gravesend, Kent. But he was in fact the British linchpin of a multi-million pound global child sex trafficking ring that used medieval ‘juju’ black magic to control its victims.
His home was a secret staging post for vulnerable teenage orphans as they were smuggled from Africa to several European countries.
Detectives discovered evidence that at least 28 victims were smuggled in and out of Britain by Osolase over a 14-month period, earning him up to £1.5million.
But the true figure could run into hundreds as the paedophile was overheard by one girl boasting he had been operating for 15 years as he tried to sell her for £60,000.
This was despite being deported back to Nigeria in 2007 after police caught him trying to use stolen credit cards.
Osolase simply married a mysterious German woman and returned to the country the following year with a five-year visa. As well as his wife he had a Nigerian mistress in Catford, South-East London, who recently gave birth to his son.
The scale of his crimes can be revealed for the first time after he was convicted at Canterbury Crown Court yesterday of trafficking three girls aged 14, 16, and 17.
One was raped and all three endured juju rituals, including one conducted by Osolase himself. One feared she was being taken to another country to be used as a human sacrifice. A jury was told Osolase slashed the chest of his youngest victim with a razor and rubbed black powder into her bleeding wounds.
She was ordered to take an oath of loyalty to him and believed that if she broke it she would not have children, go mad and die.
Osolase groomed her after the death of her parents by visiting her village with presents and saying she would go to school in Europe.
But he abducted her and said she should prepare for life as a prostitute in Italy where she would be raped by ‘white men who smoked drugs’.
The other two girls were terrorised by a local witchdoctor in Nigeria shortly before being flown out of the country with promises of an education and modelling work.
The 16-year-old told police she was taken to a ‘place of witchcraft’ where she was told to bathe in a ‘bloody gunk’ and wrap blood-soaked cloth around her.
As Osolase watched, a man wearing feathers on his head cut hair from her armpits, cut some of her finger and toenails and took blood from her hand with a syringe.
She was told that the body parts taken in the ritual would be used to find and kill her if she tried to run away or failed to repay her captor.
The 17-year-old wept as she described how she was tricked into travelling to Britain with the promise that she would go to school. She was made to drink a potion laced with blood. Police found no evidence that Osolase lived a luxury lifestyle and believe he has hidden the profits of his crimes in Nigeria.
Dr Hermoine Harris, an expert in Nigerian religions, told the jury the juju rituals carried huge weight in Nigerian society. She said: ‘By taking someone’s blood you hold and control somebody’s very essence and their power.’
Detective Inspector Eddie Fox said after the case that Osolase was ‘evil’ and branded him a ‘predatory paedophile’. Osolase was convicted of five counts of human trafficking, rape and sexual activity with a child.