Modern day slavers

Posted: February 16, 2011 in British jobs for British workers

A women was convicted on Friday 11 February at Isleworth Crown Court for her role in keeping trafficked children as domestic servants and assisting with illegal immigration.

IlieIn early 2009, a 23-year-old woman (victim A) attended a police station and made allegations that she had been brought to the UK in early 1997, abused and exploited as cheap childcare until 2006 by Lucy Adeniji.

Under interview on 15 April 2009 by officers from Operation Paladin, a joint Metropolitan Police Service and UK Border Agency team, victim A further stated that at the age of 11 years old, in December 1997, she was brought to the UK by a man she knew as ‘Kenny’ and placed in the Adeniji household, where her role was to care for the 4 children, in particular their disabled daughter. Victim A stated that she was not enrolled in school nor registered with a doctor, denied friends and regularly verbally abused and beaten by Adeniji.

In 2000, the Adeniji family moved to the USA and victim A was sent to live elsewhere until they returned in November 2003. On her return to the Adeniji household, victim A found that the Adeniji’s had a further housegirl (victim B) living with them and that a boy (victim C) had also been used as a houseboy but had run away. Victim A describes life back in the Adeniji household as volatile and she was regularly beaten and verbally abused by Adeniji.

Victim A described a number of assaults to police, one particular assault in April 2006 was described in detail whereby Adeniji repeatedly hit her with a stick following an argument over a fish meal, to the extent that victim A fell to the floor unconscious and was then kicked in the head by Adeniji. Victim A states that victim B witnessed this assault, and then told her that Adeniji was going to kill her.

UKBA references to victims A, B and C is doing my head in!

At around the same time as the alleged assault and threat, a pastor at church gave a sermon about parental responsibility and childcare. Hmmm, allowed out to church then? Victim A told police that this spurred her on to leave the house and she ran away to stay with friends. Victim A claimed she was denied friends didn’t she?

Metropolitan Police Service, Detective Inspector Gordon Valentine, from Operation Paladin, said:

‘At just 11 years old, a time when any child should rightfully be at school, this poor young girl was forced to feed her keepers’ children, wash their clothes and do the household cleaning, with little or no access to the outside world. Not only this, but she was in a strange country and beaten for her loyalty.’

On 19 May 2009, Adeniji’s home address was searched by police and she was arrested on suspicion of trafficking for the purpose of domestic servitude. During interview she admitted knowing victim A was Nigerian, I just knew Nigerians would get a mention in this story of slavers, and that she had lived with her after entering the UK at an age she believed to be 16 years old. She denied any ill treatment of victim A. She further admitted having a Nigerian boy victim C live with her for 2 years, who she had “adopted” as her son, after he was “willed” to her by another man. Adeniji admitted obtaining a British Passport for victim C by claiming that he was her son. She was further arrested for both obtaining a passport by deception and facilitating illegal immigration during the interview.

Follow-up enquiries uncovered a number of identity and travel documents suggesting that Adeniji had falsely registered eight individuals as British citizens. Victims D, E, F, G, and H where are they, still being used as slaves? Enquiries also indicated that Adeniji had been present on flights from Nigeria to facilitate the entry of both victims B and C into the UK. She was bailed and returned on 8 April 2010, where she was charged and she will be sentenced on 18 March 2011.

Meanwhile

The owner of a string of Chinese restaurants was sentenced to two years imprisonment on Friday 11 February after admitting facilitating illegal immigrants.

IlieChi Lian Chen, aged 35, of The Royal Tea Garden Restaurant, Bowness on Windermere, was sentenced at Carlisle Crown Court to 2 years after he pleaded guilty to five facilitation offences.

This result follows an investigation by UKBA that started back in May 2009. A restaurant in Kendal that was leased by Chen was visited and several illegal immigrants were found working and living there. Further raids at three of Chen’s other restaurants across Cumbria and Scotland found more illegal immigrants living and working.

In total more than ten illegal immigrants were found to be working illegally under Chen’s employment during the investigation. As a result Chen was arrested for offences of facilitation and harbouring of persons not entitled to be present in the UK. He was charged and has subsequently pleaded guilty.

When you think about if more employers using illegal workers were charged with facilitating illegal immigrants it would be more of a deterrent than fining them various amounts of money much of which is never collected.

As part of the investigation an application was made under the Proceeds of Crime Act to recover his assets. This has been adjourned until April 2011 for the benefit figure to be set.

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