NAPTIP, DSS operatives rescue trafficked Burundians

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The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) and the Department of State Services (DSS) says a Burundian woman and her children, trafficked in a village in Imo, have been rescued.

The Assistant Public Relations officer of the agency, Mr Vincent Adekoye, made this known in a statement made available to journalists on Thursday in Abuja.

He noted that the Burundian, Siniremera Bizimana, classified as a middle-aged woman was said to have been trafficked alongside her three children — Murwaneza Maecy, Akimana Bethel and Umwiza Collins.

He stated that the victims were exploited by their traffickers but set free through the early morning sting operation carried out by operatives, freed in their holding mud house located in Umunoha village in Mbaitoli Local Government Area of Imo.

Adekoye added that the victims were rescued based on complaint from the UN High Commission for Refugees lodged at NAPTIP Headquarters.

He stated that, “It was gathered that the victims who have refugee status in Kenya were trafficked to Lagos by yet to be identified trafficker in September 2021 and thereafter moved to Umunoha in Imo.

“Their movement was restricted and forced into menial labour of all sorts in order to feed.

“Their travel documents and other valuables were also confiscated by the unknown trafficker.”

Adekoye also quoted NAPTIP’s Commandant in Imo, Mr Earnest Ogbu, as saying, “the account of the victim’s indicated that they might have been deceived by the traffickers.”

He stated that NAPTIP’s Director-General, Dr Fatima Waziri-Azi, had thanked stakeholders and partners who provided information and assisted in ensuring a successful operation.

He noted that the NAPTIP boss specifically appreciated the efforts and collaboration of the DSS, Imo Command, for providing the needed operational support.

She assured that those behind the ordeal of the victims shall be identified and prosecuted.

He quoted Waziri-Azi as saying “I have directed our operatives to carry out diligent investigation on how the victims got to the village.

The traffickers will be identified and made to face justice.”