The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) has burst a notorious child trafficking syndicate in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and arrested one of the group’s members, identified as Blessing Eze.
The agency stated that its operatives were able to rescue four children from the 30-year-old woman, said to have stolen the children for begging within the state.
NAPTIP in a statement disclosed by the head of its Press and Public Relations Unit, Stella Nezan, in Abuja on Monday, said this development represented a major feat in the agency’s determination to curtail the incidence of child trafficking, especially within the nation’s capital.
Nezan said the arrest follows a tip-off from a media partner, who alerted the agency to the activities of the suspect, especially around the popular AYA bus terminal, Abuja.
The statement read in part, “A total of four stolen children believed to be from different parents were also recovered from the suspect and many other children are believed to be at large.
The statement added that the agency had also commenced a manhunt for one suspect named “Mama Chioma” from Enugu, in Enugu State, said to be in possession of another group of four trafficked children.
According to the statement, Mama Chioma is suspected to be the major supplier that specializes in bringing the children and distributing them to other members of the gang.
All the suspects were said to be engaged in trafficking of children aged six months to one year from different parts of the country to Abuja, and using them to solicit alms from unsuspecting members of the public.
“The Director-General of NAPTIP, Imaan Sulaiman-Ibrahim, has ordered an improved surveillance in the notable spots, especially within the Federal Capital Territory and its environs,” the statement said.
The statement also quoted the NAPTIP boss as describing the trafficking of children for alms begging as the height of wickedness. She added that all members of the syndicate would surely be fished out and made to face the wrath of the law.
“This is a wicked act that must be condemned by all. These innocent children are exposed to harsh weather conditions by the traffickers who shade them like wares by the roadside soliciting money for selfish desire.
“We shall surely fish out the fleeing members of the syndicate and they shall face the full wrath of the law,” Sulaiman Ibrahim said.
The NAPTIP boss called on parents to keep an eye on their children in order to prevent them from being trafficked.