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Hair Braiding In New Jersey Salons Tied To Human Trafficking Operations

It was reported by Joe Ryan on Wednesday of this week (August 26, 2009) by the Star-Ledger newspaper that a West African immigrant pleaded guilty to helping run a secret human trafficking operation that reportedly forced women to work in Newark and East Orange, New Jersey salons braiding hair for 14 hours a day.

(Image - Kids Of Africa - Casanna1 - All Rights Reserved).

The ring lead by a man and his ex-wife appeared to have smuggled victims in to New Jersey from Ghana and Togo were forced to work braiding hair against their wills.  The case was recently heard before a Federal Judge.

Most people do not realize that human trafficking occurs even in the United States where people from other countries are lured away from impoverished countries with promises of lucrative employment opportunities.

Once the people are lured from their homes and transported to the United States, and other countries around the world, they are forced to work in a variety of jobs ranging from house cleaners to prostitutes, restaurant servers or hair braiders.  The normally receive little or no pay.

Often they are forced to live in horrendous conditions and be preyed on by a variety of predators.

Peter T. Edge, head of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement office in Newark, said the agency "will not tolerate anyone who exploits or victimizes innocent people looking for a better life in the United States."

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