The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) says it has burst a notorious child trafficking syndicate in the Federal Capital Territory and arrested a suspect.
The agency said this in a statement by the head of its Press and Public Relations Unit, Mrs. Stella Nezan, in Abuja on Monday.
The statement also said the operatives of the agency were able to rescue four children from one Mrs. Blessing-Nnena Eze, suspected to have stolen the children.
NAPTIP said in the statement that the development represented a major feat in the agency’s determination to curtail the incidence of child trafficking, especially within the nation’s capital.
It said 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 arrest of Eze, the suspect, followed a tip-off from a media partner who alerted the agency of the activities of the suspect, especially around the popular AYA busy bus terminal, Abuja.
“The Director General of NAPTIP, Mrs 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 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 condition by the traffickers who shade them like wares by the roadside soliciting for 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.