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Couple arrested for running human trafficking ring in Edo

Daniel Anokwuru

The Director General, Behind Bars Initiative, Mr. Gwamishu Emefiena Harrison, has busted husband and wife for human trafficking in Benin, the Edo State capital.

He said the gang, which specialised in trafficking underage girls from the state to different parts of African countries was busted, following their failed attempt to move a 15-year old girl, Doreen, and nine others that were being trafficked to Libya by the woman, identified as Gloria, who is the leader of the gang.

Harrison said the victims were rescued in Burkina Faso.

 He disclosed that the couple behind the business were arrested on Monday, October 28, 2019, with the help of policemen from GRA Police Station,  Asaba, Delta State Police  Command.  

According to him: “On Monday, we tracked down the woman in Benin, Edo State. They specialised in trafficking underage girls to Libya. She is currently being detained in police custody in Asaba.

“We reached out to NAPTIP, Benin Zonal office and were yet to get a positive response from them. The day we arrested her, she and her husband also trafficked another lady to Libya for prostitution.

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“The 15-year-old victim is currently under the protective custody of the Nigeria Police Force. We will continue to collaborate with the government when the need arises. The gang is still in operation in Benin. Educate your friends; we must make sure all of them are apprehended,” Harrison said.

 Narrating how the suspects were arrested, he said they had disguised and arrived in the woman’s shop. One of the victims identified her and she was whisked away by the police.

He Said: “We arrived at her shop located in Benin, Edo State, in disguise. The victim identified her and she was arrested immediately. She, and her husband and 19 others are trafficking children and adults daily. They work with bus companies in Benin City. The woman’s role is to take pictures of the victims and forward to gang members in Libya before they put them in buses. They take them from Edo State to Lagos State and the to Libya, traversing  Benin Republic, Togo, Ghana and Burkina Faso.  In Libya, the victims are abused and forced into prostitution.

“The latest victim’s name is Doreen. She and nine other females were trafficked out from Nigeria by the woman, who lives in Edo. Fortunately for her, she was rescued in Burkina Faso and handed over to the Burkina Faso the. She returned safely to Nigeria and currently homeless. She is presently in our office in Asaba and we are working tirelessly to see she gets all the support needed to fully re-integrate back into the society.

“From her story, she has no family to take her, as her father chased her and her other siblings away when they lost their mother.”

 The Police Public Relations Officer of Delta State Police Command, DSP, Onome Onovwakpoyeya, did not pick calls made to her. Also the text message sent to her to confirm the report has not been replied to as at press time.