A notorious human trafficker, who has been named in many human trafficking cases, has been arrested by the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons, NAPTIP, at his residence in Benin, Edo State, with three victims rescued.
Mr. Josiah Emerole, Head, Press and Public Relations, NAPTIP, who disclosed this yesterday in Abuja, said the 33-year-old man, Ugbo, was nabbed after several weeks of surveillance by NAPTIP’s operatives.
He explained that the NAPTIP Benin Zonal Command arrested the suspected human trafficker at his residence located at Osa-yande Street, Upper Sakponba Road, Benin, Edo State.
According to Emerole, “operatives of our agency have been on his trail for several weeks, following regular mention of his name in a number of human trafficking cases being handled by the Zonal Command.
“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.
“He was caught in the process of receiving a registration fee of N50,000 he had demanded from a prospective victim.”
According to him, preliminary investigations revealed that the suspect is 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 that Ugbo claimed to be a bricklayer and has been in the business of human trafficking for a long time, operating the syndicate with another woman now at large.
The spokesperson added that the suspect was in the agency’s custody giving useful statements.
Emerole quoted NAPTIP’s Director-General, Mrs Julie Okah-Donli, as commending the operatives on the breakthrough, assuring that there is no hiding place for human traffickers any more in Nigeria.
Okah-Donli noted that the agency and its partners had resolved to collaborate more appropriately in stopping further trafficking of Nigerians both within and outside the country.
… collaboration with Immigration
Meanwhile, the NAPTIP spokesman has disclosed that the Nigeria Immigration Service, NIS, had handed over 21 rescued victims of human trafficking to NAPTIP.
He said that the age range of the victims was between 18 and 34 years, while one suspected trafficker was also handed over to the agency.
According to him, 12 of the victims, comprising five males and seven 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.
Emerole said that the victims were being moved outside the country at the time they were rescued.
He stated that another nine, all females, were handed over to the NAPTIP headquarters in Abuja by the NIS head-quarters, while attempting to procure international passports to travel out.
The spokesman added that all the victims are presently with the agency for profiling and counselling.