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The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), on Thursday in Benin, Edo State, said it arrested a suspected syndicate that specialised in trafficking of persons.

The suspects were arrested in Upper Mission area of Benin.

They were said to have been arrested in an early morning raid by a combined team of security agencies consisting of officers of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), among others.

It was learnt that the suspects were tracked down by the operatives while on their way to a motor park with three of their victims.

The Benin Zonal Commander of the agency, Mr Nduka Nwanwenne, in a statement, on Thursday, said that the male suspect, who was deported from Malta a few years ago, had lived with the wife in Libya for 10 years until 2016.

Nwanwenne noted that one of the male victims, who was rescued from the suspects, had allegedly paid N450,000, while the other one allegedly paid N200,000 as part payments for their trip.

He also said that the 16-year-old female victim was an apprentice in fashion designing at Urhonigbe, after dropping out of school, before she was lured by the suspected traffickers.

He said, “Available intelligence indicates that victims of human trafficking including male and female, were usually recruited to Libya for onward journey to Europe, particularly, Spain, Italy and Germany, through the Mediterranean Sea.

“In addition, the male victims are usually charged between N350,000 and N450,000 for the movement, while the female victims are made to take an oath with fingernails, pants, bra, pubic hair, among others.

“The girls are sold off to potential buyers in Libya. The final destination for most of the male victims is Italy.”
Several items, including the passports of victims, photographs of seven victims, underwear for oath taking and vehicle documents, were said to have been recovered from the suspects.”
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