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NAPTIP nabs woman in hotel for alleged trafficking

A woman who attempted to illegally transport thousands of young people under the guise of giving them driving jobs in Abu Dhabi, the capital of United Arab Emirates has been arrested by the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP).

The trafficker who was arrested in a hotel would place an advert on social media requesting for young Nigerians within the age brackets who can drive for jobs she falsely claimed would fetch them #250,000 in Abu Dhabi after she had already swindled thousands of N15,000 registration fees before their trafficking.

NAPTIP Director-General Dame Julie Okah-Donli said she flagged the advert as soon as she saw it because she was aware that Nigeria did not have a labour agreement with Oman.

She said after investigation was carried out, it was confirmed to be a scam and an avenue to traffic unsuspecting victims.

Okah-Donli, who spoke in Abuja at the award of prizes for the golf tournament marking the 2019 World Day Against Human Trafficking, said the agency is using sports to reach out to young Nigerians because traffickers are now using the guise of sports to traffic many out of the country for sex slavery or organ trafficking.

She said: “We believe in using sports to reach out to young Nigerians. Traffickers now use the guise of sports to traffic many out of the country. Recently we managed to rescue a girl in Ghana who was deceived that she was going to be signed in a club. Another was rescued from one of these foreign countries they take them to and use them for forced prostitution. That is if they are lucky enough and they don’t harvest their organs.

“Most times don’t you wonder when you hear news that 150 or 200 migrants drowned, you don’t ask the question who identified the bodies? How many of them actually died? Where were they buried and were they actually buried with their organs intact or did they really die from drowning? These are questions we should be asking. A lot of people have been having a field day harvesting organs of irregular migrants who don’t really have an identity because most times before they are trafficked, their real identities are changed, they give them fake names in the passports so people don’t really know who these our victims are. Even if they call them by names, their families will not know them because it is not their given names.

“One thing I find annoying is that people just forward WhatsApp messages without verifying, because it can cause problems for the young ones who can easily fall victim. A few weeks ago, there was this advert on the Internet about taxi drivers in Abu Dhabi, which it says were being employed for N250,000 monthly. I flagged it down and called my officer in Lagos because I don’t remember us having any bilateral labour agreement with Oman in the first place. He did what we call a disruptive activity and located the office of these fraudsters, traced them to the hotel where they were supposed to have been recruiting thousands of vibrant men. In fact they asked for ages 18 to 35 and they were there in their numbers.

“We arrested the woman and investigations are ongoing because obviously it was a scam. They made these guys to pay N15,000 as registration fees. It can happen to any of us if we are not quick to identify indicators of trafficking.

“Now we have recruitment of young Nigerians to the middle eastern countries as nurses, house-helps etc. When they get there, it is a different ball game. Some that get the jobs work 18 hours of 24 hours a day in different households and as they are working, they are servicing the men. If the woman finds out, she can kill you and nothing will happen. It is that bad. So a lot is going on and we have to stop people from travelling.”

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