Imo agency rescues pregnant woman, six girls from traffickers, arrests three suspects
Officials of Imo State Ministry of Women Affairs and Vulnerable Groups have rescued six girls and a pregnant woman from traffickers.
The rescue operations were carried out by the joint efforts of officials of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Traffic in Persons (NAPTIP) and soldiers of the 34 Field Artillery Brigade, Obinze, Imo State.
Information Officer of the Ministry, Nneka Nwigu, in a statement, yesterday, said the victims have been handed over to NAPTIP, while three persons arrested over the incident are undergoing interrogation.
According to her, the commissioner in charge of the Ministry, Nkechinyere Ugwu, handed in the rescued victims to the state’s Commander of NAPTIP, Ernest Ogbu.
Ugwu expressed the readiness and determination of the state government to enforce, to the letter, the laws on human trafficking in all nooks and crannies of the 27 Local Councils of the state.
In his remarks, the NAPTIP’s commander commended the state government and the military for their efforts on the matter.
She said: “The children have been placed in a secure environment and the three accomplices detained. The First lady has been briefed on this matter and she has directed that all measures be taken to ensure that the culprits face the wrath of the law. Mr Ogbu thanked the Imo Government, the First Lady and the Ministry for their continuous support against trafficking in persons in the state.”
“The investigation and subsequent arrests were a joint effort of NAPTIP and the 34 Artillery Brigade Obinze Imo State. The Children were rescued from the Human Trafficking network that specialised in the abduction and selling of children of Imo State Origin to Mrs Favour Amaegbulam, an auxiliary nurse based in Portharcourt, the Rivers State capital.
“The principal suspect, Joy Duru, was apprehended with four children. A fifth child belonging to an accomplice implicated in the crime was rescued as an investigation showed that the accomplice is not her biological mother.
“One of the children already sold has been recovered and handed over to her biological parents, while efforts are being made to recover another child which the suspect confessed to have sold to a family in Port Harcourt.
“Also rescued were a pregnant girl and an infant found in the Orphanage home belonging to the syndicate that buys the children.”