TWO men were handed lengthy jail terms for facilitating a sex-trade operation involving underage girls.
Inoke Raikadroka, who also goes by the alias Kiki, was given 14 years each for two counts of slavery and 16 years each for the five counts of trafficking in children.
The court made the sentence concurrent meaning he will serve only 16 years. He will become eligible for parole after he serves 14 years in prison.
Mohammed Sheefaz Sagaitu was sentenced to 12 years for trafficking children. He will be eligible for parole after serving 10 years.
In his sentencing, Justice Paul Madigan said slavery was committed when a person exercised rights of ownership over a person.
"In this case the evidence of ownership came from three sources. A description by Raikadroka of the girls as his products. His fear of, and hiding the girls from their owner Darren," said Justice Madigan.
"And, the manner in which he kept the girls both at the motel and in the flat at Raiwai — selling them for sexual services to clients that he arranged and keeping the money that he earned.
"The life of slavery these girls were subjected to was a life of having to provide sexual services on demand and not retaining money earned by those services for themselves but all of it going to the controller or pimp."
Justice Madigan said the girls were treated and sold like objects. He said it was unwise to say the girls were willing.
"A 15-year or a 17-year-old girl is hardly mature enough to know what is good for her, and to realise she is being exploited because she is slim and very attractive, they were inveigled into this servitude by coercive manipulation.
"Slavery is a condition that sociologists refer to as situational coercion. The girls coming from a broken family, alcoholic home with no food are suddenly confronted with food every day, new clothes, beauty treatments, entertainment and with no real alternative place to go, they were coerced or manipulated by the situation to remain in servitude."
Justice Madigan said domestic trafficking against the two was also proven.
He said Raikadroka had serious aggravating factors as he, on one occasion, was party to setting up a demonstration for the 17-year-old girl on how to please a man.