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  1. #1
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    Another Trafficker Jailed

    Another Trafficker Jailed; Which TD member this time ?

    A MAN was sentenced to four-and-a-half years prison today for helping his mother smuggle girls as young as 10 from West Africa and forcing them to braid hair at salons in New Jersey.

    The Star-Ledger said Dereck Hounakey, 33, an immigrant from Togo, was sentenced at Newark federal court today after pleading guilty to his role in the human trafficking ring which included more than 20 girls and women from West Africa.

    US District Judge Jose L Linares said: "The women were forced not only to work for free but to turn over any tips."

    Judge Linares ordered Hounakey to give the victims $US3.9 million in unpaid wages.

    Hounakey was charged in 2007 along with three others in connection with the smuggling and forced labor ring at Newark and East Orange salons which were run by his mother, Akouavi Kpade Afolabi.

    Afolabi was convicted in October at a trial in which her lawyer argued that prosecutors' had mistaken a West African-style apprenticeship program as slavery.



    Afolabi, a former jewellery and textile merchant, recruited young women from impoverished villages in Ghana and Togo with the promise of a better life in the US but once they arrived they were forced to braid hair for up to 14 hours a day.

    Afolabi threatened the victims with beatings and voodoo curses to force them into surrendering the money they made, including tips.

    Hounakey, who pleaded guilty in August, is a permanent legal resident of the US and could be deported upon his release from prison.

    Afolabi was to be sentenced in September and faces up to 20 years in prison.

    Another two men pleaded guilty for their part in the crime - Afolabiís ex-husband, Lassissi Afolabi, and Geoffry Kouevi. They were due to be sentenced in July.

    Human trafficker jailed for forcing girls to braid hair at New Jersey salons | Herald Sun

  2. #2
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    Nawty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Wilson
    prosecutors' had mistaken a West African-style apprenticeship program as slavery.
    ...

  3. #3
    Member Isee's Avatar
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    ^ sometimes you are forced/obligated to "try it on". Doesn't mean the lawyer believed it. This is where some people get their wires crossed (not saying you are Nawty - but the article implies it). Treat it as coming from the defendant not the lawyer. The last thing you want is an appeal or professional misconduct complaint made because you refused to put forward something you were instructed to do (unless its a known lie). However, its common for lawyers to "let it be known" to the judge that they are simply fulfilling their client's instructions.

  4. #4
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    nice lawyer speak cop out.......whats that song....'it was'nt me'...

  5. #5
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    Up to 14 hours braiding hair, i hate to think what that will do to their hands, RSI etc.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Wilson View Post
    Judge Linares ordered Hounakey to give the victims $US3.9 million in unpaid wages.
    Good luck with that.

    Thanks King Willy.

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