THE operatives of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), from the Benin Zonal Command have arrested a 33-year-old man, Monday Ugbo, for alleged human trafficking.
Head, Press and Public Relations, NAPTIP, Mr Josiah Emerole, who disclosed this in a statement on Sunday in Abuja, said the breakthrough came after several weeks of surveillance on the activities of the “notorious” human trafficker.
He said three victims were also rescued from Ugbo’s residence located at number 72 Osayande Street, Upper Sakponba Road, Benin City, Edo State.
Emerole, explained that the operatives of the Agency have been on his trail following regular mention of his name in a number of human trafficking cases being handled by the Zonal Command.
He added that following intelligence reports that he was harbouring some girls in his house preparatory to their being trafficked abroad, the operative swooped on him in the early hours of Friday and caught him in the process of receiving a registration fee of N50,000 he had demanded from a prospective victim.
Preliminary investigations revealed that he was also preparing to take the three girls to a River that morning for oath taking before they could embark on the journey to Europe.
He said Ugbo, who claimed to be a bricklayer according to investigations by the Agency has been in the business of human trafficking for a long time and operates with another woman who is at large now. Ugbo, who is in the Agency’s custody, is making useful statements.
Director-General of NAPTIP, Barrister Julie Okah-Donli, in her reaction to the arrest, commended the operatives and stated that there would be no hiding place for human traffickers anymore in Nigeria as the Agency and her partners have resolved to collaborate more appropriately in stopping further trafficking of Nigerians both within and outside of Nigeria.
Meanwhile, the Nigeria Immigrations Service (NIS) has handed over 21 rescued victims of human trafficking to NAPTIP.
The age range of the victims is between 18 and 34 years, while one suspect was also handed over.
It was gathered that 12 of the victims comprising 5 males and 7 females were handed over to the Kano Zonal Command of the Agency by the NIS after they were intercepted at Babamutum border area of Katsina State by the NIS Border patrol as they were being moved outside the country.
NAPTIP’s spokesperson said another nine, all females, were handed over to the Agency Headquarters, Abuja by the NIS Headquarters while attempting to procure International passports to travel out.
Emerole, discloses that all the victims currently with the Agency which is profiling and counselling them while the suspect is making useful statements.