The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons says it has received 80 rescued victims of human trafficking in Kano State.
The NAPTIP North-West Zonal Commander, Abdullahi Babale, made the disclosure in Kano on Wednesday.
Babale, who spoke at a news briefing, said the rescued victims were between the age of 16 and 35, comprising 59 females and 21 males.
According to him, the victims were rescued on August 9 by the Police in Niger Republic when the NAPTIP Joint Border Task Force alerted the Nigerienne Police Directorate of Technical Surveillance.
He said: “On receiving the information, a special operation was coordinated in Niger Republic and 80 victims of human trafficking were rescued after crossing through illegal routes and bush via Mai’adua Control Post enroute to Europe.
“Out of the 80 victims, 16 are from Ondo State, Lagos 16, Ekiti one, Ogun nine, Oyo eight, Kogi two, Edo nine, Delta four, Osun nine, Benue one, Kwara two, Anambra one, Akwa Ibom one and Rivers one.”
Babale said investigation was ongoing to arrest the main traffickers.
The Zonal Commander appreciated the DST and Katsina State Command of the Nigeria Immigration Service for cooperating with NAPTIP in rescuing the victims.
He said: “It shows the collective efforts of both countries in providing better operational strategies to fight against human trafficking and migrants smuggling, which is now assuming alarming dimension globally, with higher prevalence among developing countries such as Nigeria and Niger.”
He said the NAPTIP Director General, Bashir Garba-Mohammed, reiterated the agency’s commitments to intensify investigation and prosecution of traffickers, offer counselling, reunite and reintegrate the victims back to the society.
NAN recalls that the agency had on July 28 rescued 13 victims and arrested one suspected human trafficker heading to Libya through Kano and Niger Republic.