A Nigerian man has been arrested by the Free State police for allegedly holding a woman hostage and coercing her into sex work.

The woman only managed to escape after she told one of her ’clients’ the story of how she ended up doing sex work. The man then gave her money and helped her escape.

The suspect, Justice Lyke Ikachuku, 37, was then arrested and charged with human trafficking.

According to Captain Christopher Singo of the Hawks in Free State, the 23-year-old woman told them that she met the man when he professed his love for her, asking her to be his girlfriend.

He said “Ikachuku promised the victim a hair salon and a music studio. She indicated that they went together to his place the same day they met”.

“He then coerced the victim to work as a sex slave. On several occasions, Ikachuku booked the victim in different guest houses to meet clients. The money that she received for sexual exploitation was then collected by Ikachuku.

Singo also said “She was kept hostage from December 04 last year until February when she was assisted to escape by a client. She managed to escape after one of the clients gave her R350 to run away. She then ran to the police where a case was opened and reported to the Hawk’s Serious Organised Crime Investigation for further probing which led to the arrest of Ikachuku on Friday, February 26”.

Ikachuku appeared at the Bloemfontein Magistrate Court on March 1. He was expected back in court on March 8 for a bail application.