Ivoline Ngwijong Explains Her Prison Ordeal To Thatcher

After Spending 31 Months in the Kondengui Maximum Prison for alleged human trafficking in Kuwait, Ivoline Ngwijong explains her ordeal to Thatcher:

Ivoline Ngwijong, 38 years old Cameroonian from the North West Region who went to Kuwait for greener pastures, and spent two happy years with her sponsor, had the opportunity while there, to help 11 (eleven) other ladies join her in Kuwait at a zero expense.

However, when returned to the country in 2016, she was arrested for alleged human trafficking, after the Ministry of External Relations became aware of her venture.
Ivoline Ngwijong 
She was arrested in Bamenda, taken to Yaoundé and sent to the Kondengui Maximum prison, where she spent 31 months, before being judged in July this year and sentenced to 30 months.
Ivoline Ngwijong

She recounts her ordeal to Thatcher:

“I am the lone daughter in a family of 8, and has always been a hustler. When I returned from Nigeria in 2016, where I was a domestic staff to a Cameroonian sister, and I also studied theatre arts while there. I got news that a certain Cameroonian lady by name Kadjita in Kuwait was looking for Cameroonians to come to Kuwait and work as domestic staff.

I got in touch with her and we discussed very well. She asked me to scan and send her a copy of my passport which I did, and days later she sent me an e-visa alongside an e-ticket. I travelled two days after I received the documents, and discovered about 8 other Cameroonians on board the flight to Kuwait.

When we got to the airport in Kuwait, Kadjita whom I saw for the first time, picked us and took us all to an agent’s office, except one of the ladies who went with a man.

The agent was an Ethiopian, and I stayed with him for three weeks, because my sponsor had travelled. The other ladies were being dispatched to their various sponsors.

When my sponsor was told I had arrived, he sent some money for me to do shopping for some personal stuff I will need, because it was really cold during that time. After the shopping, the balance of the money was handed to me by the Ethiopian agent.
Ivoline Ngwijong 
Three weeks later, my sponsor came and took me along to his house. I was given a room of my own. I was given a sim card because I travelled with my phone. In my room, there was equally a phone, where they called me if they needed my presence, because I was not attending to them any time. I only went inside the main house when they had left for work, or when my sponsor’s wife wanted to show me something. I could as make calls using that phone and I called home as often as I wanted.
My sponsor and his wife were good to an extent. She even drove me to church on Christmas day, sat in her car, waited for me to finish before driving me back home. The first day I told them I wanted to go to church, they told me ‘God was in the heart’/ I continued fellow-shipping there, where I met some other Cameroonian ladies, and even joined the choir. We started communicating on Whats App with others and shared our experiences. Mummy Thatcher, I was very lucky, because my host and wife treated me as their own.
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I started sending money back home, and the Ethiopian Agent asked if I didn’t have other ladies in Cameroon to propose the venture to, since many people needed domestic staffs from Africa.

Seeing that I was well treated and the fact that most of the ladies in the chat group were as happy as I was, I decided to send message to Cameroon, and that was how girls started contacting me.

The only contradiction I met was my salary, because Kadjita told me I was to be paid $500 equivalent to 250 000 F CFA, but unfortunately it was not so. I was being paid 130 000F CFA monthly till my two years contract expired. That was the only lie I saw there.

So I explained the working conditions to the ladies who contacted me, assisted and facilitated communication between them and the agent, and they travelled and were well received.

In 2016 when I was almost rounding up my two years contract, a man with the name Tamba Yvan contacted me from the Ministry of External Relations. He said he heard I was helping girls travel to Kuwait, and I said yes. He asked the procedures and I explained. He even joined our WhatsApp chat group, where he followed and took part in our discussions. He equally sent me messages on our individual chats, and we were cool.

When I was ready to travel back I informed everyone on the group and it was fun. One lady even told me that she had her sister who was a teacher in Cameroon earning 30K and would like me to help her. I accepted and promised that as soon as I get to Cameroon, I will get in touch.

I got to Cameroon on a Thursday in 2016. Informed my friends in the group and shared my new contact with them. I spent Thursday and Friday in Douala, and travelled on Saturday to meet my family in Bamenda. The reception was great. Parents whose daughters I had helped to travel came to celebrate me and they were very proud of me.
Ivoline Ngwijong 
On Monday morning, I went out to do some transactions, when Mr. Tamba called me on phone asked if I had a safe flight. He had gotten my number from the WhatsApp chat group. We discussed and he dropped.

Few minutes later a lady called that she was the teacher sister of that lady I helped to travel to Kuwait and that she was in Bamenda. I told her where to wait for me, and when I got there, she was drinking tonic. I took Malta, and had not finished the second sip, when policemen arrived the spot, and cuffed me away.

When we got to the station, I heard the Commissioner calling and talking to the Tamba Yvan and then I knew I was in trouble. I begged for my phone that had been seized to make a call, which was accorded, and I texted the Tamba guy asking what wrong I did, and why I was being arrested, and he did not reply. I also called my family to inform them, before my phone was collected from me again.

Tamba called the commissioner and asked how I got in possession of my phone, and then and there I was informed that my complain came from Yaoundé, and that I was to be taken to Yaounde. Tthey drove me all the way from Bamenda to Yaoundé, and straight the Kondengui maximum prison, where I was judged only after 31 months.

From June 2016, I went to court every month, and they kept adjourning, till July this year, when I was heard in a marathon session and sentenced to 30 months, with a 35 000F CFA fine, but I had served 31 months, which is 2 years 7 months.
Ivoline Ngwijong 
I was being accused for HUMAN TRAFFICKING, and it was only during my 25 minutes hearing that I was able to explain to the college of three judges that I too was a domestic servant in Kuwait when I was helping others to join me. I was helping them in good faith, and they are the ones, who helped me financially throughout my close to three years stay in jail. They were shocked to hear that I too was working in the Kuwait, at the time of my I was helping others. They couldn’t do anything. I had already spent 31 months in jail.

Whoever said I was doing human trafficking, God alone has the final say.

I am trying to gather money to go back there for business, because there are many business opportunities there. Even if it means going back as a domestic worker, I won’t hesitate, but I will still go back to Kuwait”.

Disclaimer: The contents of this website are for general information purposes only. They do not constitute our legal or professional advice. Readers are advised not to act on the basis of the information contained herein alone. Every situation depends on its own facts and circumstances. We accept no responsibility for any loss or damage of whatsoever nature which may arise from reliance on any of the information published herein without consulting a professional legal practitioner.

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