Operatives of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) have bursted a human trafficking gang in Abuja.
In the operation carried out jointly with the police at the weekend, 13 girls were rescued while four people were arrested.
A statement by NAPTIP’s Head, Press, and Public Relations, Nneka Aniagoh, further disclosed that the hotel where the girls were harboured, Amazonia Guest House located at Dagri area of Gwagwalada, Abuja, was also sealed up.
According to NAPTIP, the raid was carried out based on intelligence and in the process, a suspected human trafficker, Afeez Abdulsalam, who has been on the Agency’s watch list in Abuja as well as the Osogbo Command was also arrested.
The Hotel manager, Matthew Masi, who is a long time friend and business associate of Abdulsalam and 2 others were arrested.
The statement reads in part, ” In accordance with sections 43 and 52 of the Trafficking In Persons (Prohibition) Enforcement and Administration Act, 2015, NAPTIP further sealed off Amazonia Guest House, a hideout suspected to be used for human trafficking activities.
“A search was also conducted in the hotel where vital evidence was also got including some property of the victims which the hotel manager had earlier denied knowledge of.
” Most of the rescued girls confessed to being invited to Abuja by Abdulsalam who is notorious for sending young girls to Saudi Arabia, Dubai and Malaysia for house help jobs that are exploitative.
Abdulsalam claims to work for Western Royal Manpower Solutions which specialises in mass recruitment of young girls for work in Saudi Arabia.”
Reacting to the development, the Director-General of NAPTIP, Dame Julie Okah-Donli, expressed her satisfaction with the successful raid and arrest, saying that saving the lives of young vulnerable Nigerians remains of paramount importance to her.
She also urged members of the public to report any unwholesome and suspicious activities going on in their neighbourhood as this will save lives and assist the Agency in fighting human trafficking.
Okah-Donli said, “We will not allow another Libya to happen again in Nigeria through mass movement of our young and vulnerable girls to different parts of the world under questionable circumstances by criminal gangs.
Nigeria is yet to come out of the Libyan problem and Saudi Arabia will not be our major problem at this time”.
She further disclosed that the suspects will be charged to court after investigations have been concluded.