By Chidi Nkwopara, OWERRI
Three suspected human traffickers are now cooling their heels in the custody of the Imo State Command of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons, NAPTIP.
Similarly, six underaged children, who are believed to be victims of child trafficking and a pregnant girl, have also been rescued.
Ogbu gave the names of the three suspects as Joy Duru, 27, Favour Amewhule, 37, and Joy Chibuzor, 32.
He said although four of the children claimed to be the biological children of one of the suspects, investigation showed that the two-year-old girl child, claimed to be the biological child of the third suspect, Joy Chibuzor, may not be true.
“An infant found in the orphanage in Port Harcourt, is yet to be linked to any parent as the operator of the orphanage, Favour Amewhule, claimed that the mother abandoned the child on delivery,” Ogbu said.
On the pregnant victim found in the orphanage, the Imo NAPTIP Commandant, said: “I can’t disclose her details to the press because it will be against known international best practices. All I can say is that she was waiting to be harvested before her arrest.”
Explaining how NAPTIP made the breakthrough to Vanguard on a telephone, yesterday, Ogbu said the initial arrest was made by the personnel of 34 Artillery Brigade of the Nigerian Army, Obinze, Owerri West LGA of Imo State.
“Parading the suspects at the Headquarters of 34 Artillery Brigade Obinze, before handing them over to NAPTIP, the Brigade Commander, Brigadier General Sani Suleiman, said the suspects were arrested after several months of intelligence gathering, as the suspect has been on the wanted list of the command for a long time.
“The Brigade Commander advised parents to be vigilant and report these criminals, who usually carry out their illegal business in the guise of operating an orphanage home.”