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Police rescue 7 Ivory Coast, Libya-bound trafficked victims in Edo

Police rescue 7 Ivory Coast, Libya-bound trafficked victims in Edo

The police in Edo State have rescued seven victims of human trafficking who were purportedly scheduled to travel to Côte d’Ivoire and Libya.

The victims were intercepted in Isihor in Ovia North-East local government area of Edo State. They include six females and a male between the ages of 16 to 20, and are natives of Edo and Delta State.

One of the victims, Innocent Godfrey, a 20-year-old boy and an indigene of Orogun, Delta State, said the journey was arranged by his sister on behalf of someone in Libya.

Narrating, he said “I am not the one conveying them, we all are traveling. I am going to Libya while they are going somewhere else. We were on our way home when the police arrested us at a checkpoint in Isihor.

Read also: IOM sets up legal hub to offer free services to human trafficking victims

“It is my sister that arranged the movement but she is nowhere to be found. The person to take the girls is in Libya and he paid money to sponsor the girls. They asked me to take N200,000 along but I don’t have any money, so, the man paid for the transport.

Another victim, Endurance Edigho, said they were recruited by Godfrey’s sister at a birthday party and on their way from the party, the police stopped them.

“The lady asked if I would like to travel out to work overseas. I replied that I will do a house help job and then she asked me to join them. We were arrested on Thursday at a police checkpoint while searching our vehicle. They found Indian hemp in one of the boys’ pocket in the vehicle and took us to the police station,” she said.

Briefing journalists in Benin City on Friday, Phillip Ogbadu, Edo State Commissioner of Police, said the victims would be handed over to the National Agency for Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) for rehabilitation, adding that the command would ensure the traffickers are dealt with according to the law.

“The Edo State command acting on credible information rescued six victims of human trafficking at Isihor area in Benin City. One Innocent Godfrey was arrested with the six girls he was carrying to Abidjan in Côte d’Ivoire.

“We have interviewed them and found out it is a crime of trafficking and we will try to establish the chain and get to the traffickers,” Ogbadu said.

The other rescued victims include Success Okungbowa (17), Gift Osabuohien (18), Gift Edigho (17), Oghayerio (17), and Happiness Oliver (16).