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Child trafficking: NAPTIP nabs 2 suspects in Akwa Ibom

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The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) says it has apprehended two suspects for human trafficking in Akwa Ibom.
This is contained in a statement issued by the Agency and signed by the Uyo Zonal Commander of NAPTIP, Mr Nduka Nwanwenne, and made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Uyo on Wednesday.

Nwanwenne said the suspects; Okokon Essien Bassey and Ofonime Essien Bassey were arrested in the early hours of Tuesday (Feb. 17).
The zonal commander said that the two suspects had approached one Mr Emmanuel Monday and his wife who is pregnant and a mother of two children to buy the unborn baby for N500,000.

He said the officials of the agency, who were informed of the offer, advised the couple to agree to the terms of the suspects.
Accordingly, the victims were said to have requested for N10,000 from the suspects as a form of commitment and a sign of seriousness.
It was gathered that on receipt of the money, the woman and her two children were handed over to the suspects.

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The suspects were said to have taken the woman and her children to Port Harcourt on a motorcycle but were trailed by operatives of the agency who arrested the suspects.

“The Uyo Zonal Command of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) has apprehended two suspects for human trafficking in an early hour operation on Tuesday.

“The two suspects, namely Okokon Essien Bassey, ‘M’, 33 years old, and Ofonime Essien Bassey, ‘F’, 40 years old, were apprehended.
“The suspects had on several occasion approached one Emmanuel Monday and his wife who is a mother of two kids and presently pregnant and requested for the purchase of the unborn baby for the sum of five hundred thousand naira (N500,000).

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“On receiving the intelligence, NAPTIP operatives requested the victims to play along with the suspects.

“In the course of several meetings, the victims demanded the sum of N10,000 from the suspects to show their seriousness in what they were being asked to do.

“Upon the payment of the N10,000 to the victims the pregnant woman, along with their two kids were handed over to the suspects,” he said.

The zonal commander said that one of the suspects was said to have escaped while two were apprehended.
He assured that the escaped suspect was being trailed by the agency officials and would soon be arrested.
“The means of conveyance De-Mak motorcycle has been impounded by the Command as an exhibit. Meanwhile, the investigation has commenced for the third suspect who is on the run,” he said.

He said that the two arrested suspects have made useful statements, stressing that they will be charged to court next week.

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