7 Nigerian girls were intercepted on November 12 at approximately 7pm while being smuggled to Burkina Faso by human traffickers. The girls, aged between 19 and 23, were from Langtang North Local Government Area of Plateau State.
The prime suspect, 26-year-old Miss Helen Dandam Nanbyen from Wadata village in Wase Local Government Area of Plateau, was arrested along with the seven victims by the Badagry Marine Border Patrol Team along Pashi waterway bordering Nigeria and Benin Republic.
“The suspects have been under the command’s radar for about two months following intelligence gathered by our operatives,” said Malam Mohammed Saddiq, Comptroller of Immigration, Lagos Seaports and Marine Command.
“It was uncovered, during the course of investigation, that the seven smuggled victims, whose ages range from 19 to 23, hail from Langtang North Local Government Area of Plateau. It is important to state that the girls willfully consented to the journey under false identities with intent to indulge in prostitution while in their country of destination,” he added.
Saddiq noted that the suspects neither had any valid travel documents nor financial means to sustain themselves during the journey.
Nanbyen, under interrogation, confessed to her role in the illicit business and admitted her involvement in prostitution.
“She also admitted facilitating the transportation of potential sex workers into Burkina Faso,” Saddiq said.
“She said that it was with the support of her madam, an indigene of Edo, who operates a beer selling spot in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso capital. She also admitted working with one Miss Ella, who she claimed recruited four out of the girls, but is currently at large,” the controller added.
The arrest was a result of the Command’s renewed commitment to the directive of the Comptroller-General of the NIS, Caroline Wura-ola Adepoju, towards curbing migrant smuggling, human trafficking and all forms of crimes within the maritime space.
The suspects have been handed over to the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) for further investigation and prosecution.