NSCDC arrests lady for attempting to lure four girls to Mali for prostitution
I make N18,600 on each trafficked victims, suspect confesses
The ringleader of a human trafficking syndicate who allegedly specializes in selling young girls out for prostitution has been arrested. The 30-year-old suspect, Omowunmi Michael, was arrested at her Iyana-Ipaja home by operatives of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corp (NSCDC), Lagos State command.
Omowunmi revealed that she usually makes the sum of N30,000 CFA (an equivalent of N18,600) per victim, anytime she trafficks Nigerian ladies for prostitution to African countries, most especially Mali. Omowunmi was apprehended on Wednesday by NSCDC officials and paraded yesterday. She was apprehended alongside four of her victims. Those rescued were Aloaye Joy, 22; Victoria Oshioke, 18; Amaka Eze, 23; and Anuoluwapo Mustapha.
Omowunmi, who was a food vendour, narrated that she ventured into the illicit business over two years ago and use the proceeds for the upkeep of her seven years old son unknown to her that the business would boomerang. Recounting her experience, she said a woman lured her into the illicit business in 2017. She claimed the woman approached her where she was assisting a food vendor as a service girl and promised her a better life provided she could serve as house help in Mali.
Omowunmi said she accepted the offer unfortunately for her, the arrangement turned out to be prostitution and she could not make a U-turn having committed herself into it. Having settled her travel agent the sum of N600,000, she reached another agreement with her boss to introduce more victims and this gave her the opportunity to earn a commission of 30,000 CFA (N18, 600) per victim and in 2019. She returned to Nigeria to supply more victims for the illicit business and had already opened talks with four of them when luck ran against her.
It was learnt that Omowunmi’s arrest was sequel to a disagreement between the victims and the gang leader over how much to be paid by each of the victims. The Guardian learnt that the suspect had demanded for an upfront payment of N1 million by each of the victims before she would hand them over to the main dealer, who is based in Cotonou, capital of Benin Republic.
It was also learnt that the suspect, having failed in her desperate bid to secure any financial commitment from the victims threatened to return them to Edo State where they were recruited from. It was further gathered that out of anger, two of the victims, Aloaye Joy and Victoria Oshioke, stormed out of the house and were asking a truck driver to give them a lift to Benin when they were first sighted by an operatives.
Parading the suspect at the Command Headquarters, Alausa, Ikeja, the Commandant of NSCDC, Lagos Command, Otiobhi Ehi Cyprian, said the suspect was arrested for allegedly trying to traffic four ladies to Mali for prostitution.
The Commandant said the suspect was apprehended on Wednesday, January 15, at about 9:20a.m. at No. 13, Abuke Oku Street, Iyana Ipaja. He said at the time of arrest, the suspect had in her house four ladies intended for trafficking.
“Michael is alleged to have recruited the victims to travel to Mali for prostitution. Two of the victims, Victoria Oshioke and Aloaye Joy were transported from Benin, Edo State by one Favour who is currently on the run while Amaka Eze, who hails from Onitsha in Anambra State, was linked to the suspect by one Lekan,” he added.
The Commandant while discouraging other vulnerable young ladies not to fall into the hands of human traffickers who may promise them good jobs abroad, added that the danger of human trafficking is overwhelming.Victoria Oshioke, in her statement, said she was first trafficked to Mali when she was 16 years old by her boyfriend. She said her boyfriend sold her to the syndicate based in Cotonou who in turn took her to Mali where she was made to sleep with different men.
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