Kano Zonal Command of Nigeria’s anti human trafficking agency, the National Agency for the prohibition of Trafficking in Persons and other Related Matters (NAPTIP) has rescued 57 victims of human trafficking in Katsina State who were on their way to Libya.
The Zonal Commander of the agency, Mr Shehu Umar disclosed this to news men in Kano state north western Nigeria.
He said the victims were intercepted by the Nigeria Immigration Service, Katsina State Command along Kongolom border in Mai’adua local government on their way to Libya on Saturday, Oct. 8.
“The victims were intercepted in two separate groups by the Nigeria Immigration Service in Katsina state along Kongolom border in Mai’adua local area on their way to Libya,’’ stressed Uamr.
He said following the receipt of the report, the Zonal command went to Katsina and rescued the victims whose traffickers had since escaped.
“All the victims are here now with us pending the completion of the investigation currently going on.’’
‘’Preliminary investigation had shown that the victims paid between N5, 000 and N250, 000 as fares to their traffickers to facilitate their journey to Libya. ‘’
‘’The victims who were between the ages of 12 and 38, had no travelling document with them.’’ He emphasised.
Libya has become a common spring board which human traffickers use as entry port to Europe. Hundreds of thousands had drowned and died on the Mediterranean Sea in their attempt to cross to Europe.
He said the investigation further indicated that the victims are from Abia, Bayelsa, Delta, Edo, Enugu, Imo, Kogi, Lagos and Ondo states.
He said as soon as investigation was completed, the victims would be reunited with their families in their respective states.
“With this achievement, the command has been able to rescue no fewer than 263 victims of human trafficking from January to date.’’
“Out of this number, 173 are females while the remaining 90 are males.
“The command had also secured conviction of eight suspects within the same period under review,” he explained.
He commended the Katsina State Command of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) for its effort in fighting human trafficking in the state.