FRSC intercepts suspect trafficker, 5 girls in Anambra
The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) in Anambra state has handed over five girls and a suspected human trafficker to the National Agency for Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP).
The agency’s Anambra sector commander, Andrew Kumapayi, who disclosed this on Wednesday to newsmen in Awka, said the suspects and victims between the ages of 14 to 29, were intercepted Tuesday night by the corps patrol at Umuokpu, Awka, along Onitsha-Awka expressway.
Kumapayi who was represented by Corps’ sector head of operations, Mr Anthony Ogbodo, said the 36-year-old suspect, a driver who identified himself as Frank Lucky, was arrested in company of the victims and claimed to be on his way to Benin, Edo state from Benue state.
He said the case was immediately reported to the commission’s headquarters which directed that National Agency for Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) in the state be alerted for further investigations.
He said, “The suspect was arrested by our patrol team, led by Route Commander Ugochukwu Ogbonna, when they stopped a black Nissan Primera vehicle with registration number BEN 468 HP, for seat belt violation and fake driver’s license.
“They were about to book the driver for seat belt violation when they noticed five girls inside the vehicle which triggered their suspicions. The vehicle was later impounded and taken to our office.”
Kumapayi further disclosed that the suspect, who had attempted to induce the officers, claimed to be taking the girls to work as house helps and farmers in their family farmland in Benin.
“The victims who said they were from VandeIkya in Benue state, however, told us they were going to Benin to sell pepper soup and liquor in a beer parlour,” he added.
Receiving the suspect and the victims at the NAPTIP office in Awka, state commander, NAPTIP, Mrs Judith-Chukwu Ibadin, assured immediate commencement of investigations.
She said, “The suspect and victims are going to be in our custody pending when we conclude our investigations. I’m sure there may be other chain suspects because this is a syndicate.
“We are going to interview both the victims and the suspect. If there are more, we make further arrests. Definitely, they will be prosecuted and, if found guilty, the court will pronounce judgement, while those who met bail conditions would be granted such.”