THE National Agency for the Prohibition of Traffic in Persons and Other Related Matters (NAPTIP) carried out a covert operation and evacuated ten Nigerian girls working as sex slaves in Abidjan, Cote d’ivoire.
The girls who were brought into Abuja in two batches are from Edo, Delta, Rivers and Benue States respectively, with Edo State topping the chart with six girls.
According to a statement released in Abuja by the Head Media and Communication (NAPTIP), Mr. Orakwe Arinze in Abuja on Saturday, the rescued victims were already undergoing medical screening and counselling with NAPTIP operatives after which rehabilitation would commence in earnest.
He quoted the Executive Secretary of NAPTIP, Mrs. Beatrice Jedy-Agba as saying that the rescue operation was intelligence driven based on a tip off that several Nigerian young girls were in sex bondage in Cote d’ivoire.
Jedy-Agba said the operation was done in collaboration with the regional bureau office of Interpol in Abidjan and an Abidjan based Non-Governmental Organisation, Family Essan for Protection and Promotion of Human Rights (FEPDH).
She spoke while receiving the girls at the NAPTIP Headquarters, Abuja and expressed grave concern about the growing incidence of human trafficking for prostitution and hard labour in spite of the efforts of the agency to stem the tide.
She, however, called for more intelligence sharing, co-operation and collaboration between West African Law Enforcement Agencies on trafficking in persons as a panacea to breaking the stranglehold of the criminal networks on the scourge.
According to her, NAPTIP felt obliged to bring the girls back home for rehabilitation as Nigerians and also to support further investigation in the crime.