Posted by News Express | 23 September 2015 | 5,111 times
The National Agency for The Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons and other Related Matters (NAPTIP) on Tuesday paraded five suspected members of a human trafficking syndicate based in Dubai.
The suspects were paraded by the Lagos Zonal Command of NAPTIP after they were arrested for trafficking two girls, Ann and Chisom, whose other surnames were withheld by the command.
The agency’s Public Relations Officer, Mr. Josaiah Emerole, said that one of the victims, Ann, had returned safely to Nigeria while Chisom was out of the reach of her traffickers.
Emerole added that the agency was in touch with her and working with other partners to assist her.
He added that officials of the agency swung into action after two separate videos of the young girls swearing to an oath to prostitution went viral on social media.
He said the videos had caused the country a huge embarrassment and the culprits needed to be brought to book.
“You may recall that early in Aug this year, the media, especially the social media was awash with nude visuals of two of our citizens, Ann and Chisom.
“They were filmed and uploaded by some of our unpatriotic citizens engaged in trafficking of girls from Nigeria to Dubai, the United Arab Emirate for sexual exploitation.
“The nude visuals caused some uproar within many circles in Nigeria and raised questions among our international partners.
“The videos showed the two girls being forced to swear to an oath of allegiance separately while nude.”
“They were made to claim that they came to Dubai on their own volition to engage in prostitution and ready to obey their madams without reporting to anybody.
“The women that filmed the video threatened to upload the nude visuals if the girls did not act accordingly.
“The blackmail videos are part of the Dubai syndicate’s control mechanism which also include oath taking and confiscation of travel documents to ensure submission.”
Emerole added that the suspects had been handed over to officials of NAPTIP for further investigation.
“The Director-General of NAPTIP, Mrs. Beatrice Jedy-Agba, needs to bring to the knowledge of the public recent developments in our efforts to stem the tide of trafficking in persons in Nigeria.
“Especially the arrest of suspected members of a Dubai based Human Trafficking Syndicate and their accomplices.
“Based on this despicable and criminal act in the fight against human trafficking, the agency went into action in collaboration with other sister law enforcement agencies.
“The aim is to locally and internationally fish out these criminals and their agents in Nigeria and to rescue the victims.”
Emerole added that other traffickers who were not yet in the custody of NAPTIP would be apprehended soon.
“On Sept. 8, 2015, officers of the Lagos Zonal Command arrested the Dubai based trafficker who took Ann out of the country.
“She was tracked and apprehended at Agboroko Village, Iba New Site, Lagos, where she was in hiding having sneaked into the country for her traditional wedding.
“Earlier surveillance and raid operations by NAPTIP officers were at two residents in Lekki Phase 1 and Oke-Ira Nla, Ajah, Lagos led to the arrest of two others.
“Investigations have identified them as suspected recruiters for the Dubai syndicate.
“The owner of a hideout for girls, from where one of the victims Chisom was recruited and trafficked to Dubai was also apprehended.”
He added that the key suspect’s sister was also apprehended for her role in the trafficking ring.
“Preliminary investigations indicate that the suspect has other accomplices in Dubai and that efforts are underway to track them.”
The spokesman added that the owner of the hideout where the girls were kept had confessed that she knew the victims.
Emerole said that all the activities were in violation of the trafficking in persons Enforcement and Administration Act, 2015.
“Consequently, the suspects so far arrested and interrogated would be arraigned soon.
“Efforts are also being intensified at the diplomatic level to track all other members of this syndicate who are still in Dubai.
“The fight against human trafficking is one that we freely chose as a responsible member of the international community and to protect the dignity of our people.
“We will not shirk this responsibility as an agency because the image of our country damaged by these unpatriotic persons must be restored through our collective efforts.’ (NAN)
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