Human trafficking: NIS arrests 4 suspects

Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS)

Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS)

FILE PHOTO: Victims of human trafficking

The Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), Ekiti State Command, has arrested four suspects over alleged human trafficking to Italy for prostitution.

The NIS Comptroller, Ekiti Command, Mrs Ifeoma Dibia, disclosed this on Wednesday in Ado-Ekiti while handing over the leader of the gang and the three victims to National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP).

She said that NIS arrested one Mrs Mary Omowaye, 35, at the Command’s passport office in Ado Ekiti while trying to procure international passports for the victims to travel to Italy for the illicit job.

The victims are: Adegoroye Abiodun, 24, Akinsanmi Titilayo Blessing, 30 and Adeyan Motunrayo, 20, all from Idanre town in Ondo State.

Dibia said the suspects were arrested after her men got information of where they were planning to travel to.

She explained that her operatives had stepped up efforts to rid the state of human trafficking, child labour and prostitution.

She said that the command had redoubled its efforts at curbing the menace, as a result of disturbing revelation made by Gov. Kayode Fayemi recently that Ekiti had become a transit state for the illicit business.

The comptroller said most painful and disturbing was the fact that the trend of human trafficking are common among children from broken homes.

She said Omowaye was operating in collaboration with one Mr Jamiu, who normally processed traveling visas for the victims in Lagos and her sister, Jumoke, who is based in Italy, including another person whose identity was yet to be made known.

“One of our responsibilities is to stop human trafficking and child’s labour.

“When these young ladies came to our passport section to get international passport, we interrogated them and we suspected that this could be an illegal migration.

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“They said they are going there to do hairdressing and as house helps, but this was how they used to trick and traffic the victims to other countries, only to get there and used them for prostitution.

“After interrogating them, we knew that they didn’t know what they were going there to do. Some of the victims are fondly being molested and died in the process.

“What we normally do is to arrest people like these, profile them and hand them over to NAPTIP for prosecution.

“We are going to work in tandem with NAPTIP to arrest the chief syndicates, Mr Jamiu in Lagos and Jumoke in Italy for prosecution.

According to her, the service will also collaborate with other agencies to reunite the victims with their families for protection.

However, Omowaye denied the allegation, saying it was not true that she tricked the victims to travel to Italy for prostitution.

“This is not true, my younger sister has been helping people to travel.

“Even my 19 year old daughter is there, where she works as a shop keeper. We are just trying to help them,” she said.

Also, one of the victims, Jumoke said she is a hairdresser and her plan was to go there and do the job, saying the issue of prostitution did not arise.

“The woman in Italy is the one sponsoring us. We are going to work for her for six months when we get there, and then regain our freedom, that was the agreement reached with us,” she claimed.

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