- About 157 children were rescued during a joint operation of police in Nigeria and Benin Republic
- Interpol said the minor, aged between 11 and 16, were among 220 victims of human trafficking
- According to the international criminal police organisation, human trafficking is a transnational crime
Not fewer than 157 victims of human trafficking have been rescued by the police in Benin Republic and Nigeria in an operation coordinated by international criminal police organisation known as Interpol.
Channels TV reports that the Interpol disclosed this in a statement on Wednesday, April 24, saying the total number of 157 children, were among 220 victims of human trafficking rescued by the police. The minors were said to be between the ages of 11 and 16.
According to Interpol, all the victims originated from Benin, Burkina Faso, Niger, Nigeria and Togo.
The global police organisation secretary general, Jürgen Stock, described human trafficking as a transnational crime from which the vulnerable, especially children, simply cannot walk away.
Stock said: “This operation underlines the need for cross-border collaboration between law enforcement and all stakeholders to ensure that together we can enhance our prevention, protection and prosecution efforts.”
Meanwhile, 47 suspects were arrested while vehicles, cash, mobile phones and computers were seized by the police in the course of the operation.
The comptroller of the Nigeria Immigration Service at Seme border region, Do Asogwa, called for a collective effort to tackle the menace of trafficking.
He said: “We have to cooperate with one another to combat the crime networks behind the trafficking and smuggling of human beings. These crimes can only be tackled collectively and through interagency cooperation."
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In Benin, some of the minors were transferred to shelters, returned to their parents, while others were taken into care by national social affairs authorities and NGOs.
Legit.ng recently reported that the director general of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), Julie Okah-Donli, raised an alarm over what he described as new tricks employed by human traffickers.
Okah-Donli lamented that the menace appears to have heightened despite measures to curb it. She urged all stakeholders to be vigilant as they go about their duties while also dismissing the notion that only underage girls can be victims of trafficking.
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