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Immigration foils sex trafficking of Nigerian girls to Burkina Faso

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The Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), Lagos Seaports, and Marine Command foiled the attempted sex trafficking and smuggling of seven Nigerian girls to Burkina Faso for prostitution.

The girls were apprehended around 19.00 hours on Sunday, November 12, 2023.

The Immigration Comptroller of Lagos Seaports and Marine Command, Mohammed Sadiq, revealed this during a press conference in Lagos on Friday, November 17, 2023.

He stated that the suspects had been on the command’s radar for about two months following intelligence gathered by its operatives, which led to their arrest by Badagry and the Marine Border Patrol Team along the Pashi waterway bordering Nigeria and Benin Republic.

Miss Helen Dandam Nanbyen, 26, he added, is from Wadata village in Plateau State’s Wase Local Government Area.

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“It was uncovered during the course of the investigation that the seven smuggled victims, whose ages range from 19 to 23, hail from Langtang North Local Government Area of Plateau State,” he stated.

“It is important to state that the girls willfully consented to the journey under false identities with intent to indulge in prostitution while in their country of destination,” the Comptroller said.

“It is important to state that the girls willfully consented to the journey under false identities with intent to indulge in prostitution while in their country of destination,” the Comptroller said.

He stated that the suspects lack both legitimate travel documents and financial resources to support themselves on the journey.

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“Narrating her role in the illicit business, Miss Dandam admitted her involvement in prostitution and facilitating the transportation of potential sex workers into Burkina Faso with the support of her Madam, an indigene of Edo State who operates a beer parlor in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso’s capital.

“She also admitted working with one Miss. Ella, whom she claimed recruited four out of the girls, is currently at large.”

Sadiq stated that the arrest is a result of the Command’s renewed commitment to the Ag, Comptroller General of the Nigeria Immigration Service, Caroline Wura-ola Adepoju’s directive to combat migrant smuggling, human trafficking, and all forms of trans-border crime in the maritime space.

“I want to use this medium to commend the role of the intelligence community in this endeavor. I also call on parents to be more concerned about their children’s activities,” he said.

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The immigration chief also revealed that illegal migration and human trafficking via the rivers have increased, stressing that the department will continue to patrol and regulate riverine areas in order to discourage illicit conduct.

According to the directive of the Ag, Comptroller General of the Nigeria Immigration Service, Caroline Wura-ola Adepoju, the Lagos Seaport and Marine Command chief also revealed that the females will be handed over to the Plateau State Government, allowing them to be reunited with their families and loved ones.

Miss Helen Dandam Nanbyen, who spoke with reporters, said she had visited Burkina Faso once and that her madam had informed them that a bartender job was available for them in Ouagadougou.

She acknowledged leading the female migrants’ effort to travel to Burkina Faso via the Lagos waterways.

One of the females expressed sorrow over the attempted migration to Burkina Faso, claiming she had no idea the trip would end up in Burkina Faso; rather, she had been persuaded that there were pub jobs available in Lagos State.

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Representatives from Plateau State’s Liaison Office, led by Mr. Emmanuel Sebu, received the girls and are due to give them over to the state governor.

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