NAPTIP arrests 80-year-old in Benue for child trafficking

68

The National Agency For the Prohibition Of Trafficking In Persons, Makurdi Zonal Command has rescued five victims and apprehended eight suspects.

Among those arrested were an 80-year-old woman, Innocent Josephine, and a 56-year-old woman, Ude Rosaline, both identified as key players in the trafficking.

Other members include;  Samuel Takura (50), Williams Minde (35), Mrs. Celina Obiasogu (52), Virginia Okonkwo (50),  Anthonia Onura (60), and  Ede Sunday Ngozi (52).

The Zonal Commander, Mrs  Gloria Bai, told journalists on Saturday that efforts were ongoing to apprehend Mama Nnamdi, who is at large.

She disclosed this in a statement issued and made available to journalists on Saturday in Makurdi.

She said the command swung into action after receiving a distress call from a mother who was looking for her twins.

Bai said upon investigation, it was discovered that the twins were allegedly sold in December 2023.

She said, “Between January 17 and 22, 2024, NAPTIP operatives conducted meticulous surveillance and rescue operations across the Makurdi metropolis.

“The investigation unveiled a modus operandi wherein the syndicate targeted vulnerable homes, including IDP camps, posing as helpers for education sponsorship.

“Exploiting the trust of unsuspecting families, they acquire children and subsequently sell them for sums ranging from ₦350,000 to ₦900,000
per child, disguising the transactions as adoptions.”

Bai said that the rescued victims have been reunited with their families, and legal proceedings against the suspects are underway.

She however urged the public to exercise caution when approached by individuals offering assistance with child education, emphasising the prevalence of the buying and selling of children under the guise of adoption.

She enjoined those  seeking to adopt a child  to contact the state Ministry of Women’s Affairs for proper guidance and stop transacting with criminal elements