African Woman Who Held Two Women as Slaves Is Convicted

Gidemi Bello, a Georgia resident who human trafficked two Nigerian women, is found guilty.

Posted: 06/14/2011 07:25 PM EDT
Filed Under slavery

Black-on-Black crime has been taken to another level.

 

According to the U.S. assistant attorney general, Georgia resident Gidemi Bello, 41, a naturalized U.S. citizen, recruited and promised to send two Nigerian women to school in the U.S.

 

In reality, Bello was not the altruistic person she portrayed herself as. As the women soon found out, Bello was a human-trafficker. When they arrived in the U.S., they were physically and psychologically abused and forced to work as nannies. The women were not allowed to shower or sleep in beds.

 

Bello’s first victim escaped in 2004, and her second victim escaped in 2006 by taking a cab to a church.

 

In the victims' testimony, it was revealed that Bello had required the women to cut her lawn by hand with a knife and eat moldy food.

 

This past week, after a week-long trial, Bello was convicted of multiple charges, including two counts of forced labor and two counts of trafficking, multiple counts of alien harboring and a count of making false statements to become a U.S. citizen.

 

She will be sentenced on Aug. 24. The forced labor and labor trafficking charges alone have a maximum $250,000 fine and a maximum prison sentence of 20 years. In addition, once she has served her prison term in the U.S., her U.S. citizenship will be revoked and she will be deported back to Nigeria.

 

Around 27 million people are trafficked each year, and about 31.7 million U.S. dollars are made annually from the industry worldwide.

 

The African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) States Observatory on Migration reveals that Ghana, Nigeria and Senegal are the main origin and transit countries of women and children trafficked to Europe, the Gulf states, and other African countries.

 

 

To report human trafficking crimes, call the Department of Justice Trafficking in Persons and Worker Exploitation Task Force Complaint Line at 1-888-428-7581.

 

(Photo: Lucy Nicholson/Reuters)

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