A total of 716 victims of human trafficking have been intercepted by the Nigerian immigration authorities in a border town in the past seven months, an immigration official said on Monday.
Kelechi Ekeoba-Jones, a comptroller of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) in Jibia, a town in the northern state of Katsina which sits along the Nigerian border with Niger, told reporters in Jibia that the 716 victims of human trafficking were intercepted between April 14 and Nov. 10 while heading abroad through illegal routes.
At least 10 victims were intercepted on Thursday along the Daura-Kongolam road in Katsina on their way to Europe through Niger and Libya routes, said Ekeoba-Jones, noting that none of the victims was in possession of valid travel documents when they were intercepted by the NIS operatives.
Comprising three males and seven females aged between 17 to 36, the 10 people were handed over to the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking In Persons (NAPTIP) which handles such cases in the most populous African country.
The immigration official said all the victims earlier rescued were also handed over to the NAPTIP, consisting of 229 males and 487 females including the recently intercepted victims.
“It is pertinent to state that this trend of human trafficking has its inherent risks and dangers in the form of victims being exposed to slavery, forced labor, organ harvesting, and even death in the desert and the sea en route to their perceived destinations,” Ekeoba-Jones added. Enditem