NAPTIP arrests suspected human trafficker, victim at Lagos airport

The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons, NAPTIP, has arrested a suspected human trafficker (names withheld by the agency) at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos.

The suspect was arrested alongside his victim who is in her early 20s and hails from Edo State, the agency said in a statement on Friday. The latter is currently undergoing counselling at a NAPTIP shelter, while the suspect is being questioned by NAPTIP investigators in Lagos.

According to the statement, the arrest and rescue were done during a joint random profiling operation carried out at the airport on Wednesday and Thursday by NAPTIP-Joint Border Task Force (NAPTIP-JBTF) operatives, mentors, and the United Kingdom Border Police.

The operations which lasted over seven hours targeted airlines including Emirate Airline heading to Dubai; Turkish Air heading to Istanbul; Egypt Air heading to Cairo; Ethiopian Airline heading to Addis Ababa; Qatar Airline heading to Doha; Rwandan Air heading to Kigali and another Emirate Airline heading to Dubai.

“During the operation, passengers were randomly profiled on the floor of the departure hall at the check-in counters,” Josiah Emerole, NAPTIP’s spokesperson.

“It was in one of such checks that the PVOT (potential victim of trafficking) was intercepted on the Emirate Airline counter checking in to travel to Dubai while the suspect facilitating her movement was arrested.”

Responding to this operation, the Director-General of NAPTIP, Julie Okah-Donli, commended the operatives of the JBTF.

She, however, urged all international flight operators to imbibe all good practices in the fight against human traffickers, adding that she would engage all airline operators and tour operators to discuss their operation.

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