Ask any Westerner to think about crime in Nigeria and most would probably immediately remember that email they got telling them they are owed $100 million but have to transfer $300 by Western Union to process the transaction. Perhaps a few others would think of oil corruption, very few would think about the wholesale trafficking of Nigerian women overseas to work in the sex industry.
This documentary, The Nigerian Connection, shows how each year tens of thousands of Nigerian women are tricked into heading to Europe on the promise of a better life but tragically end up in the hands of highly organised mafia gangs who condemn them to a life of exploitation.
The problem is particularly bad in Southern Italy where Nigerian women are amongst the most exploited in the sex trade, in fact this documentary was in part produced by an Italian journalist who has extensive knowledge of the problem in his home country. The documentary is split into two parts, episode 1 looks at the problem in Italy, whilst part 2 looks at the problem in Benin City in Nigeria where many of the impoverished victims originate from.
The film shows how women accrue huge debts with Nigerian gangsters to cover their travel costs to Europe in the belief that lucrative employment opportunities and a better life awaits them. When they arrive they find that their lucrative job is in the sex industry and they are trapped in the industry until they can work off their debts. The penalty for not paying back the debt is death.