By; RAYMOND TEDUNJAYE, Lagos
The Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) has arrested at least six persons said to the specialists in trafficking young Nigerian ladies abroad for prostitution.
The suspects, four males and two females were alleged to have been ferrying the ladies for commercial sex abroad via sting operation.
Our correspondent gathered that they were apprehended at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja following the change of operational strategy by the NIS operatives at the entry point.
According to report, the identities of three of the recruiters have been uncovered and are said to be resident in Dubai.
The national public relations officer of NIS Sunday James, a Deputy Comptroller confirmed the arrest in a release made available to journalists.
James also disclosed that 34 Nigerians, predominantly females (youngladies) were refused departure for non compliance and violation of immigration regulations and other extant laws.
The young ladies, he said were victims of human trafficking being transported for the purpose of forced prostitution and sex exploitation and were between the ages of 18 to 28.
Disclosing that the final destination of the ladies was Dubai ,UAE, James informed that upon interception, they were profiled and forwarded to NIS Service Headquarter for further investigation and released to NAPTIP for rehabilitation.
Similarly, the NIS image maker said 12 foreign nationals who failed to comply with Nigerian entry requirement were also refused admission and returned.
The release reads, ” The year 2020 birthed a global pandemic issue; the COVID-19,that prompted nations’ of the world to enforce mandatory lock down andborder closure before its eventual relaxation within the year.
The nation had its own fair share of the COVID-19 experience and the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) as the lead agency incharge of migration control and border management at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Int’lAirport (NAIA), had to step up personnel protection to insulate them fromcontracting COVID-19 through the installation of glasss hields that separate the operatives from passengers, use of facemasks, hand gloves, hand sanitizers among others.
No fewer than 239,114 out bound and in bound migrants passed through NAIA, Abuja between 1st January 2020 and 15th December, 2020.
So far, 73,582 Nigerians and 46,665 Non Nigerians departed NAIA, Abujafor various destinations abroad.
Similarly, 81,277 Nigerians and 37,590Non Nigerians arrived through NAIA airport within the period under review. A total of 625 Nigerians were deported and 24 repatriated for various criminal and immigration related offences abroad.
In the same vein, 12 foreign nationals who failed to comply with Nigerian entryrequirement were refused admission and returned.
34 Nigerians predominantly females (youngladies) were refused departure for non compliance and violation of immigration regulations and other extant laws.The young ladies were victims of human trafficking being transported for the purpose of forced prostitution and sex exploitation and were between the ages of 18 to 28.
Their final destination was Dubai ,UAE. Upon interception,they were profiled and forwarded to NIS Service Headquarter for further investigation and released to NAPTIP for rehabilitation.
In the same vein,the change ofoperational strategy lead to the uncovering of the persons recruiting and trafficking these ladies via sting operation where six recruiters/traffickers were apprehended (4 males and 2 females).
In addition,the identities of three recruiters/sponsors resident in Dubai were equally uncovered.
The Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Command, within the period under review, received and handed over 100 Nigerians whose offences are not immigration related to relevant agencies ie,drug relatedissues, Financial Crimes, Trafficking in Persons and Smuggling of Migrants.
This review will not be complete without acknowledging the impactof the Comptroller General’s transformation agenda in the deployment ofMigration Information and Data Analysis System (MIDAS) to enhance airborder management at all the Airports.
With the deployment of thisveritable platform, the Airport Command has been experiencing smoothand seamless passenger processing.
The Comptroller General of Nigeria Immigration Service ,Muhammad Babandede,MFR ,commended the Comptroller of Immigration Service, Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Command, Sadat Hassan,pcc,for operating an air tightentryand exit point that resulted in those variousarrests.
The Service wish to appeal to the general public to co-operate with the
operatives at the Airport during clearance procedures to reduce humancontact so as to avoid the spread of COVID-19″.