The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons, NAPTIP, has announced the arrest of a man who trafficked his girlfriend to Mali for sexual exploitation.

The agency in a statement, Sunday, by its Head, Press and Public Relations, Adekoye Vincent, also said the victim, still in Mali, is seriously sick and has reached out for rescue.

According to Vanguard Newspaper, the middle-aged man, identified as Emmanuel Stephen, according to NAPTIP, allegedly trafficked his 21-year old girlfriend (name withheld ) to Mali for prostitution and sexual exploitation.

The suspect, an indigene of Akoko, Ondo State, who resides in Karimajiji, Airport Road, Abuja, was said to have been in a love relationship with the victim, an apprentice in one of the beauty stores in Abuja, for the past two years with a promise to marry her.

“During interrogation, the suspect confessed that his senior sister who stays in Mali called him early in the year and told him that she had graduated from her “Madam” and requested for a girl to be sent to her.”

“He stated further that he convinced his girlfriend who agreed and they were later linked up with somebody in Benin City, Edo State who later arranged the movement from Nigeria to Mali by road in April 2021.

“According to him, the sister promised that the girl will help her to work in a beer parlour in Mali,” the agency explained in the statement.

The statement read further:” Investigation revealed that as soon as the victim arrived Mali, she was sold to another woman for a sum of N1, 500, 000 (One Million, Five Hundred Thousand Naira) and was subsequently forced into exploitative prostitution.”

“Few weeks later, due to the rigorous sexual activities with numerous partners, the victim was said to have developed a strange sickness with other associated health challenges and presently in serious condition.”

“The victim was said to have called her family in Nigeria and narrated her ordeal to them.

“Effort by the family to bring her back yielded nothing as her Madam insisted on collecting the sum of N1.5 Million before she can release her.”

His arrest,the agency explained,was as result of its continued renewed onslaught on human traffickers across the country.

The latest development came barely two weeks after a notorious trans-border human trafficker was arrested by the combined team of NAPTIP and other sister Security Agencies in Kano on their way to Libya. About 12 victims were also rescued during the successful operation.

Reacting to the development, Director General of NAPTIP, Senator Basheer Garba Muhammed, expressed sadness over the fate of the victim and promised that the Agency will work with other partners including Security Agencies to rescue her.

“I feel sad by the plight of the victim in question. NAPTIP in partnership with other stakeholders, will do everything possible to rescue her.”

“While we shall continue to heat all parts of the country to run human traffickers out of business in Nigeria, I wish to appeal to parents to be careful with the type of relationship their children keep.”

“Many amorous relationship like the one that was stage – managed to traffic this victim, have ended up on a sad note. So, let us watch over our Children and desist from giving them endless freedom even at tender age”, Muhammed cautioned parents.

It would be recalled that the Director General of the Agency, Senator Basheer Garba Muhammed, on assumption of office few months ago, had declared a total war on human traffickers in the country and giving operatives of the agency the matching order to smoke them out of Nigeria so as to ensure adequate protection of Nigerians from all forms of trafficking and exploitation.

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