Suspected Human Traffickers Arrested With 55 Children In Benue

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Three mini buses moving in a convoy and loaded with 55 trafficked children, including ten girls and seven boys, have been intercepted by men of the Benue State Police Command on stop-and-search duty along Otukpo-Enugu Expressway.

The operation also led to the arrest of seven suspected human traffickers identified as Adekunle Adebisi, Odeh Adogu, Ochefu Adakole, Edwin Onah, John Odum, Ubeh Mike and Philip Adema, who said they were taking the children to Lagos, Abeokuta and Ibadan.

The command has also arrested a couple, Mr and Mrs. Yamuer Maashin from Katsina-Ala local government, for alleged criminal conspiracy and trafficking in persons.

Commissioner of police in the state, Adams Audu, said the three buses and 55 children were intercepted by the police at about 1pm while the couple was arrested on June 19, 2013, after a tip-off.

“The suspects confessed to have taken the children from Oju LGA of Benue and Yala LGA of Cross River states for undisclosed missions. These children were discovered to have been taken away from their parents by the suspects and are to be given out to strangers who will subject them to child labour, prostitution and hawking in return for money to both parents and the suspected traffickers who take the trade as their means of livelihood.”

According to him, the couple was arrested when an assistant director of Hands That Care Foundation, Mrs. Nworie Nwakaego Jacinta, saw 6-year-old Miss Nguwasen Najime naked with a big growth on her anus begging along Badagry expressway in Lagos. The police were alerted and investigation into the case led to the arrest of the couple.

Audu reiterated the commitment of his command to protecting lives and property in Benue and appealed to the public as well as government agencies to assist the police in reducing crime.

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