The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) has intercepted 39 women suspected to be victims of human trafficking and illegal migration in a coordinated raid carried out on suspected locations within the Federal Capital Territory, (FCT), Abuja. Also arrested in connection with the planned trafficking of the victims were two recruiters from a popular Labour Recruitment Travel and Tour Company located at Jabi area of Abuja. A cleric, from the mosque, where the victims were hidden in preparation for ill-fated journey, was also arrested.
Head, Press and Public Relations Unit, NAPTIP, Adekoye Vincent said: “This development came barely few hours after the burial of the 26 girls who died in questionable circumstances in the Mediterranean Sea en-route Europe.
The latest interception was carried out by operatives of the Agency in a popular hotel located in Abuja and the Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport, Abuja following a surveillance operation and intelligence gathering.” According to Vincent, the women, comprising of Muslims and Christians, married and singles, were said to have been recruited by some travelling agents and were on their way to Saudi Arabia when they were intercepted.
He noted: “They were intercepted in three batches; the batch comprising of 13 girls was rescued at a hotel in Zone 6, Wuse, Abuja. Twelve girls, in the second batch, were taken from a mosque located at the Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport while waiting for their recruiter, while the last batch of 14 girls were picked up from the Departure Lounge of the airport while waiting for their agent to perfect their travelling arrangement.
“As peculiar to victims of illegal migration, none of the victims were with their travelling documents as at the time they were intercepted. The document were said to be with their recruiters and agents.
” Vincent further disclosed that operatives of NAPTIP were on the trail of other recruiters fingered in the aborted trip. The recruiters are said to be in possession of travelling documents of some of the victims just as the women are currently helping the Agency with useful information to aid their investigation. Director-General of NAPTIP, Dame Julie Okah-Donli, said the raid was part of the efforts put in place to halt the illegal migration and trafficking of Nigerians and its attendant tragedies.
Okah-Donli further said: “The Agency is pained by the trafficking of our people by some unscrupulous persons under the disguise of getting them job outside the country. The last of such being the 26 girls that died under unclear circumstances enroute Europe.
Story By: New Telegraph