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The Katsina State Command of the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) yesterday announced the arrest of three suspected Libya-bound human traffickers at Kongolan and Farin Gida patrol base, on Daura Road, Katsina.
The Controller, Mr. Ajisafe Joshua Olusola, briefing reporters on the arrest, the second within five days, said the mission of the traffickers and their victims was to cross the border to Niger Republic from where they would move to Libya.
He listed the suspects to include Emeka Gideon Okaeri, 39, from Imo State, Obinna Emmanuel, 30, from Abia State and Obumese Murphy Obi, 40, from Imo State.
The rescued victims are Emmanuel Eziuche Justina, 31, from Abia State, Ugochukwu Anthony Chilaka, 28, from Imo State, Okike Chigekwu Daniel from Imo State, Daniel Glory Chinonso, 24, from Abia State and Francis Hillary, 29, from Delta State.
The controller said the leader of the trafficking cartel, Emeka Okaeri, has been living in Libya for the past nine years, adding that he is a frequent traveller crisscrossing Niger, Libya and Nigeria.
He said: “Emeka represents a trafficking cartel based in Libya and Nigeria and who specialises in trafficking and smuggling.
“The suspected human traffickers, smugglers and rescued persons are Nigerians and are in possession of their travelling documents
“According to Emeka, the two women, Justina and Chinonso, were connected to him by one man, who is living in Libya. The man in Libya is the one sponsoring the victims’ journey, while Emeka is the one facilitating the journey.’’
Ajisafe said the suspected traffickers and their victims would be handed over to the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) zonal office in Kano.