By Ogar Monday
Men of the Nigerian Immigration Service, NIS Cross River State Command over the weekend arrested two suspected human traffickers in two buses at its Itigidi border post in Itigidi, Abi Local Government area.
The two suspects who are from Obubra and Yakurr were arrested with 29 young boys and girls travelling in two Toyota Hiace buses with registration number Lagos APP-47XG and Lagos KJA-609XA.
While handing them over to the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons NAPTIP, the Comptroller Immigration Service, Cross River State Command, Funke Adeuyi, advised parents and guardians to be careful when allowing their children and wards travel with people for greener pastures.
“Parents and guardians should as matter of security, beware of criminals who come as friends and relatives to take their children away with the promise of providing them with jobs or better living somewhere far away”, she said.
She added that trafficking is not just a crime against the State but a crime against humanity as it has far reaching negative effects. Her words: “As you can see most of the victims are teens and should be in school. We also have very young girls among them too who are all supposed to be in school and not on a bus to where they don’t know”.
Assuring that they will face the wrath of the law she said, “We have done our investigation and we are handing both the victims and the suspected traffickers to NAPTIP for further investigations and probable prosecution”.
Also speaking, the NAPTIP Intelligence Officer, South-South Zone, simply named Victor said that their duty receiving the victims and suspects is to run their own investigation and work base on their findings which he assured will not be politicized.
“We will conduct our own investigations, talk to the suspects and said victims who likely don’t know what is happening and of course reach out to their parents or guardians as the case maybe”, he said.
Dennis Agbor, one of the suspected trafficker confessed to being in charge of seven of the victims and they were on their way to Akure were he has jobs waiting for them.
His words: “I was at home for the holidays, when they came to plead with me to take them along to Akure, they said they were idle in the village and I should help them and since I have a restaurant and I needed workers, I said I should take them with me”.
The other suspect who gave his name only as Wofai said that they were all on their way to Akure to work as farmers and that he had no sinister intentions, as all of them are related.
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