By Deborah Coker
Benin – The Benin Zonal Command of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) says it has arrested no fewer than 74 suspected human traffickers between July 2019 until date.
Mrs Ijeoma Uduak, Zonal Commander of the agency comprising Edo, Delta and Bayelsa, disclosed this on Wednesday in Benin, as part of activities to mark the 2020 World Human Trafficking Day.
She disclosed that those arrested include 36 males and 38 females, adding that the figure was from the 89 reported cases before the zonal command.
She also disclosed that the zone secured six convictions of suspects with the latest conviction secured on Tuesday.
She explained that on Tuesday one Emmanuel Collins, a 38 years male from Delta was sentenced to two years in prison on a two count charge.
She said, however, that though the sentence was to run concurrently, the convict was also given an option of N125,000 fine on each count.
The zonal commander said that the convict was arrested by the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) at Seme border while attempting to traffic two young ladies to Dubai.
She noted that the NIS transferred the case to NAPTIP for further investigation, which led to the prosecution and eventual conviction of the convict.
Uduak further disclosed that the zone has 57 pending cases in court.
She also disclosed that within the period 122 victims were received by the zone for counselling and rehabilitation, adding that 28 of the victims have already been rehabilitated.
She said that the zone, within the period under review, collaborated with 89 stakeholders, carried out 47 advocacy visits, 101 sensitisation and 44 media relation exercises.