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Before the Organ Trafficking Plot, the UK “Was Urged to Investigate” Ekweremadu, according to Politics.

The Guardian has learned that a former US intelligence analyst advised the UK’s National Crime Agency (NCA) to investigate a senior Nigerian politician before he trafficked a man to London in an effort to obtain his kidney.

In the first organ trafficking conviction under the Modern Slavery Act, Ike Ekweremadu was given a sentence of more than nine years in prison on Friday for leading a plot to harvest a kidney for his ill daughter.

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According to Matthew Page, an associate fellow at the Chatham House thinktank and a Nigeria expert at the US state department’s bureau of intelligence and research from 2012 to 2016, the plot could have been stopped if UK authorities had acted on his warnings about Ekweremadu and a dossier of information about his activities in Britain.

He stated that the trafficking conspiracy demonstrated the consequences of disregarding such documented suspicions of corruption.

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He stated, “Clearly, the authorities in the UK had ample opportunity to scrutinize Ekweremadu’s activities in the UK prior to things reaching the point of people-trafficking or organ harvesting.”

Page looked at how Nigerian politicians like Ekweremadu used unexplained wealth to buy millions of pounds worth of properties in the UK and pay for expensive private education for their children in research that was partially supported by the UK Department for International Development.

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He found that in a 12-year time span, Ekweremadu would have made about £339,000 as a political office holder, including his spell as representative leader of the Nigerian senate. However, in that period he purchased three properties – two in London and one in Cambridge – worth £4.2m. Ekweremadu’s international property portfolio was worth more than £6 million, according to the Old Bailey.

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