Olaleye Aluko, Abuja
The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons and other related offences has confirmed the rescue of 12 young persons from traffickers along the Nigerian border in Katsina State.
Our correspondent learnt that the victims, comprising seven females and five males, were rescued by border patrol operatives of the Nigerian Immigration Service and handed over to the NAPTIP Kano Zonal Command for rehabilitation.
One of the suspected traffickers was also arrested and handed over. It was gathered that the ages of the victims ranged from 18 to 34 years.
The Director, NAPTIP Press and Public Relations, Josiah Emerole, said the victims and the suspect were making useful statements.
He said, “The immigration operatives handed over 21 rescued victims of human trafficking to us. Twelve victims were rescued in Katsina, while another nine, all females, were rescued while trying to procure international passports out of the country.
“The victims are presently with us and making useful statements. We are profiling them. The Director-General, Julie Okah-Donli, has assured that there is no hiding place for human traffickers.”
Also, the Benin Zonal Command of the agency arrested a 33 year-old suspected trafficker, Monday Ugbo, for keeping three girls in his house in Benin, Edo State.
Operatives reportedly stormed the residence at Osayande Street, Upper Sakponba Road, Benin, on Friday and arrested him.
According to NAPTIP, Ugbo was allegedly preparing to take the three girls to a river for initiation before they could embark on the journey to Europe. The suspect, who claimed to be a bricklayer, allegedly operated with a woman, who is still at large.
Emerole said the case was still under investigation.
“The DG has resolved to call for more collaboration in stopping further trafficking of Nigerians both within and outside the country,” he added.
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