In a daring operation, the Nigeria Immigration Service, in collaboration with the Lagos Seaports and Marine Command, successfully rescued five individuals who had fallen prey to human trafficking at the Pashi checkpoint, located in the Badagry Local Government Area of Lagos State.
Led by Comptroller Mohammed Saddiq, the command executed the rescue mission, intercepting the victims along with a 26-year-old woman identified as Mrs. Blessing Anireta.
Strikingly, Anireta was found without any means of identification or livelihood, raising suspicions of her involvement in the trafficking operation.
The incident came to light on Wednesday around 9:30 am, when the command received a tip regarding five individuals suspected to be victims of human trafficking.
Preliminary investigations revealed a deeply troubling scheme where three of the victims, hailing from Abia, Akwa Ibom, and Plateau states, were promised legitimate employment in Mali, Benin Republic, and Cote d’Ivoire.
However, these promises turned out to be part of a sinister plot to exploit their innocence.
During questioning, the victims disclosed their shocking stories. Unveiling a web of deceit, they confessed that a Lagos-based syndicate member orchestrated their journey, preying on their aspirations for better opportunities abroad.
The syndicate had meticulously organized transportation arrangements to the purported countries of opportunity.
As the investigation unfolded, it became clear that Anireta played a pivotal role in facilitating the ill-fated journey. She had devised a plan to ensnare her companions in the dark world of prostitution upon reaching their intended destinations.
Chillingly, it was uncovered that two victims, who had journeyed with Anireta from Delta State, had been lured into this dangerous expedition without their parents’ knowledge or consent.
The victims, aged between 15 and 23, found themselves on the brink of exploitation when they were apprehended by vigilant patrol personnel at the Pashi checkpoint.
Saddiq, expressing his determination to bring all responsible parties to justice, declared that the primary suspect was still evading capture but that relentless efforts were underway to track down both her and the other members of the syndicate.
In a collaborative effort to combat this heinous crime, the rescued victims are set to be handed over to the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons.
This step aims to ensure that a thorough investigation takes place, and justice is served for those who have suffered at the hands of these heartless traffickers.
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