The operatives of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), have arrested four persons for alleged human trafficking.
The NIS officials made the arrest on Tuesday when a 35-year-old Mrs Mary Omowaye was at the command’s passport office in Ado Ekiti to procure international passports for some girls to travel to Italy for illegal works.
The victims are: Adegoroye Abiodun, 24, Akinsanmi Titilayo Blessing, 30 and Adeyan Motunrayo, 20, all from Idanre town in Ondo State
The NIS Comptroller, Ekiti Command, Mrs Ifeoma Benedict Dibia, who disclosed the arrest to journalists while handing over the procurer and the three victims to the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) on Wednesday, said they were nabbed after her men got wind of where they were planning to travel to.
Dibia added that her operatives have stepped up efforts to rid the state of human trafficking , child labour and prostitution, going by startling revelation made by Governor Kayode Fayemi that Ekiti had become a transit state for the illicit businesses.
The comptroller said most painful and disturbing was the fact that the trend of human trafficking are common among children from broken homes.
She said Omowaye was operating in connivance with one Mr Jamiu, who normally processed traveling visas for the victims in Lagos and her sister, Jumoke, who is based in Italy.
“One of our responsibilities is to stop human trafficking and child’s labour. And when these young ladies came to our passport section to get international passport, we interrogated them and we suspected that this could be an illegal migration.
” They said they are going there to do hairdressing and as house helps, but this was how they used to trick and traffic the victims to other countries , only to get there and used them for prostitution.
“After interrogating them, we knew that they didn’t know what they were going there to do. What we normally do is to arrest people like these, profiling them and hand them over to NAPTIP for prosecution.
” We are going to work in tandem with NAPTIP to arrest the chief syndicates, Mr Jamiu in Lagos and Jumoke in Italy for prosecution. We are also going to reunite the victims with their families for protection “, she said.
But Omowaye denied that she tricked the victims to travel to Italy for prostitution during interrogation by NIS operatives.
” This is not true, my younger sister there has been helping people to travel . Even my 19 year old daughter is there , where she works as a shop keeper. We are just trying to help them,” she maintained.
Also one of the victims, Jumoke, said she is an hairdresser and her plan was to go there and do the job, saying the issue of prostitution did not arise.
“The woman in Italy is the one sponsoring us. We are going to work for her for six months when we get there and then regain our freedom, that was the agreement reached with us”, she revealed.