NAPTIP returns 30 intercepted suspected victims of human trafficking, begins investigation

irregular migration

NAPTIP returns 30 intercepted suspected victims of human trafficking, begins investigation

Jan. 26, 2022

The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), Benin Zonal Command, says it has returned 30 intercepted suspected victims of human trafficking back to their point of origin.

Mrs. Chidiebere Oruruo-Ifudu, the Zonal Commander of the agency made the disclosure in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Benin, on Wednesday.

Oruruo-Ifudu disclosed that the victims were intercepted by the Directorate of State Service (DSS) in Benin on Jan. 19, and handed over to the agency.

She said the preliminary investigation revealed that the victims’ point of origin was Uyo, but were intercepted on their way to the South West, precisely Ondo.

She said that preliminary investigation also revealed that the older ones were between 25 and 28 years and they went home to celebrate the Yuletide.

“They were retuning back to the South West with the younger ones who were in the majority and were underaged and were intercepted on their for possible human trafficking and child slavery.’’

Oruruo-Ifudu said the victims had been transferred to the Uyo Zonal Command of the agency for further investigation since the victims’ point of origin was Uyo.

She expressed optimism that on completion of investigation, the main traffickers and sponsors of the victims would be arrested in no time and prosecuted.

The zonal commander said that it was in view of perceived ignorance of some persons, especially those in the hinterland on the ills of human trafficking and child slavery that the command started its second phase of the blue bus awareness campaign.

She said that the campaign, which commenced on Tuesday was being carried out in partnership with the International Organisation on Migration (IOM).

She said that the essence of the campaign was to create awareness as well as sensitisation in endemic areas, adding that the second phase of the blue bus awareness campaign was taking place in Delta.

She said that the areas to cover during the sensitisation are Abraka, Ethiope East Local Government Area, Ndokwa West Local Government Area, Sapele Local Government Area, Isoko North Local Government Area and Ethiope West Local Government Area.

She said Save the Girl Child Advocate, an NGO in Delta was also working in collaborating with NAPTIP in the project.

She explained that the zone would continue to work in tandem with Dr. Fatima Waziri-Hazi, the Director-General of NAPTIP’s agenda for the agency.

According to her, the DG’s agenda include effective public enlightenment, investigation and prosecution of human traffickers. (NAN)