Missing 16-year-old, others found in trafficker’s den

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A search for a missing 16-year-old granddaughter by her grandmother has led to the discovery of a human trafficker’s den in a Lagos community.

The den was discovered around 8pm at Ile-Iwe, a community in Alimosho area of Lagos State, on Sunday.

Many young girls, said to have been prepared for trafficking to Ghana yesterday, were found at the den.

It was gathered that good Samaritans, including hoodlums (area boys) and motor park touts had joined in the search for the teenager, said to have fled home recently, after her grandmother, Mrs. Olorunkemi, gave them N10,000 each to motivate them for the search.

Sources said the girl, an orphan, became rebellious three years ago after she was allegedly raped and deflowered by some street urchins, whose sexual advances she had rejected.

“Since then, the girl cultivated the habit of running away from home. She is in a boarding school. Whenever she returned home for holidays, she would flee home for days. She also started smoking. I think she did these to protest against her grandmother and relatives for not ensuring justice when she was raped.

“Last week, the girl ran away from home and no one knew where she went to. They reported to the police and searched for her. Her grandmother made posters of her, saying she was missing. She went to a  motor park.

“The woman offered N10,000 each to some area boys there and handed over the posters to them, telling them to help her look for her granddaughter. On Sunday night, the area boys found the girl and many other young girls at a den operated by a human trafficker.

“The matter was reported to the police and the trafficker was arrested. The girls were taken to the police station at Ikotun,” a source said.

It was learnt that the trafficker had changed the girl’s hairstyle and looks, fixed her eyelashes and made her to appear more mature, apparently to portray her as an adult during the trip to Ghana.

“There was commotion at the station. The girls opened up and narrated all the things the human trafficker did to them. They said they were usually drugged and given to about 10 men to sleep with each day.

“The human trafficker, a woman, has concluded plans to take the girls to Ghana today (yesterday). The 16-year-old girl said she was given marijuana and made to do so many bad things that she could not recount,” said the source.

It was gathered that the grandmother was at the police station about 7pm yesterday.

She said: “I do not want this matter to be swept under the carpet. The commissioner of police and the governor need to know that human trafficking is still being perpetrated, especially the one involving underage girls. I don’t want a situation whereby the trafficker will bribe her way out and the matter will die.”

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