The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking In Persons (NAPTIP) in Anambra State on Wednesday in collaboration with Nigeria Immigration Service, NIS, Anambra State Command arrested a suspected male human trafficker and rescued the female victim.
The suspect, who resides in Benin, Edo state was wooed down to Onitsha, Anambra State by a human trafficking syndicate on the pretext that they were securing her visa to travel to Dubai.
Speaking to TNC correspondent, The NAPTIP Commander in Anambra, Mrs. Judith-Chukwu Ibadin, revealed that the suspect was arrested at Immigration office in Awka, while he was trying to procure Nigerian international passport for the victim to be trafficked to Dubai.
According to Ibadin, the arrest was made possible through the strong collaboration between NAPTIP and the Immigration Service in Anambra.
“Men of the NIS were vigilant enough to detect the human trafficker who came to procure International Passport for the victim at the NIS office, Awka with the victim.
“They immediately alerted the NAPTIP officials and the suspect was apprehended.
“Upon interview, it was discovered that the suspect was procuring the passport which he and his syndicates in Edo state and Dubai wants to use to traffick the victim to Dubai for prostitution,” she said.
The Anambra NAPTIP Commander disclosed that interrogations showed that the victim was lured from Edo state by the suspects who started patronizing her where she was selling fried pastries.
“Along the line, they sold the idea of Dubai to the victim which she unsuspectingly accepted.
“They transported her to Anambra where another member of the syndicate in Onitsha received the victim and they proceeded to the Immigration office to procure the passport which the victim would have used to travel to the Dubai for forced prostitution.
“This was where the suspect was apprehended and the victim rescued,” she noted.
Ibadin who expressed concerns that human trafficking is now on the increase in Anambra, advised members of the public to be vigilante.
“It is no longer news that trafficking has shifted from Edo state which was known to be the headquarters of the negative practice.
“Because of the fear of the curse placed on traffickers by the Oba of Benin, they shifted their base to the Southeast and are now collaborating with those here to do the ugly trade,” she said.
Ibadin also revealed an emerging trend where traffickers exploit young women who get pregnant outside wedlock to collect their babies.
“A trend now is that of pregnant women outside wedlock.
“You usually see these traffickers accost them with the promise of false marriage, especially the ones abandoned by their families and are looking for shelter.
“They even take a step further to go to the girl’s village to do some traditional marriage rites and then take her to live with them.
“When it is delivery time, the girls are usually made to give birth sedated with the help of medical personnel who are their collaborators and they will take away the child.
“When they regain consciousness, they will tell the story that the baby died,” Ibadin disclosed.
She also warned against those trafficking human body parts, asking the public to be wary of their devices.
She said: “When someone promises that they are taking you abroad and asks you to run tests on your vital organs, it is a sign that you are being trafficked for your organs to be used.
“Our people must watch out for their changing tactics and refuse any unverified promises.
“On our part as NAPTIP, we will continue to collaborate with relevant security agencies and critical stakeholders to stamp out this ugly incident which has crept into our communities and gaining ground.”