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NAPTIP rescues 17 victims, apprehends 7 suspects in A’Ibom

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The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) in Akwa Ibom, says it has rescued 17 victims and apprehended seven suspects within the past four months.
The Uyo Zonal Commander, Mr Emmanuel Awhen, made the disclosure in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Uyo on Monday.
Awhen said that eight of the victims were rescued while being taken away to Libya by their traffickers.
”We achieved this success through a collaborative effort with the NAPTIP command in Sokoto,” he said.
He further said that three female victims who were lured out of school in Oron, Akwa Ibom, were rescued at Idiroko, Ogun, after being taken away by their traffickers.
The commander said that the victims had been reunited with their families, and that some of them had been empowered with vocational skills to become self-reliant.
”We have trained them on hairdressing and equipped them with cash and starter packs to begin their own businesses,” he said.
Awhen said that the agency was currently investigating two of the suspects it arrested during the period under review.
”One person has been convicted while four others are being prosecuted in line with the law,” he said.
The zonal commander said that Akwa Ibom being a coastal state, had been a transit point for human trafficking.
”Traffickers mostly use the waterways to move their victims to their preferred destinations.
”It is also worrisome that stealing and selling of babies is rampant in the state, we need to all rise up against this,” he said.
Awhen expressed the commitment of the agency to live up to its expectation in the fight against human trafficking in the state.
He identified lack of logistic vehicles as a major challenge facing the agency, saying,” without vehicles, it is difficult to take our message to the rural communities”
”However, we shall not relent in our efforts to stamp out human trafficking, it is a crime against humanity,” he said.

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