The Benue State Police Command, on Wednesday, rescued 23 victims of suspected human trafficking while they were being conveyed from Buruku Local Government Area of the state to an unknown destination.
State Commissioner of Police, Fatai Owoseni, disclosed this when he paraded one Prince Masenenger Tar as the suspected trafficker who was conveying the 23 people out of the state in an 18-seater bus belonging to the Benue State Transport Company known as Benue Links.
Owoseni said that a team of policemen on routine patrol intercepted the vehicle, April 1st around the Buruku area on suspicion that the victims who are between the ages of 45 and 12 were being transported illegally for trafficking purposes, Daily Trust reported.
He added that further investigation revealed that the victims of the human trafficking were lured by the suspect on promises of providing them with jobs at Kiama in Kwara State but that they were actually going to be taken outside the country to Niger for exploitation.
The police commissioner said that the victims who are kept saved in the command’s custody would be handed over to their parents/guardians while the suspected trafficker will face the law.
The suspect, Tar, however denied that he was trafficking the people for exploitation, saying that, he had a restaurant in Kwara that he wanted the two ladies among the alleged victims to work having settled their parents for their N10, 000 monthly salary while the others were only going to join their relatives living in Kwara state.
In another development, Thirty-nine trafficked Nigerians were rescued from a sex slave trade in Spain, the UK’s National Crime Agency (NCA) has said. The sex trafficking ring was said to have been coordinated by Nigerians and the victims were reportedly forced to reside in “cave-like houses”.
They were freed in a joint operation involving the NCA, Spanish law enforcement and the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP).
The victims many of sex trafficking ring who are said to be under 18 were reportedly forced to undergo ‘voodoo-juju’ rituals in Nigeria by some traffickers linked with an organised criminal network known as the Eiye Confraternity.