The Uyo Zonal Command of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) has taken over 33 victims suspected to have been trafficked and camped in two premises in Calabar.
In an interview with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday, the Uyo Zonal Commander of the agency, Mr Nduka Nwawene said the suspected victims were rescued in a joint operation by security agencies.
“A joint operation by personnel of the 13 Brigade of the Nigerian Army, Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA), Department of State Security (DSS), and Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) raided the two suspicious premises in Calabar.
“One of the premises in Dame Winnie Akpani Street, Federal Housing Estate (FHA), Calabar belonging to Mr David Odeta, also known as G-Coach, while the other which served as a training base, was a popular resort in the state capital.
“NAPTIP is currently in the process of determining which victims comprise 17 females and 16 males are being used, in spite of the COVID-19 restrictions.
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“During the raid, three suspects were arrested and some arms were allegedly recovered meanwhile, the suspected victims are being debriefed and we have commenced counselling at our shelter in Uyo.
“Preliminary investigation reveals that the suspects own an organisation called G-Factor Initiative International, which purportedly organises camp activities for young people between the ages of 14 and 27,’’ he said.
“The youths who are drawn from the South-South and South-East geopolitical zones are lured under the guise of evangelism, humanitarian services and reformation and rehabilitation.
Nwawene, however, added that the three suspects were still with the DSS but would be handed over to NAPTIP since they had taken over the victims.
He said this would enable them to properly establish the element of human trafficking before proceeding to prosecution.