The Benin Zonal Command of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) on Tuesday, said it had arrested six persons for suspected human trafficking.
Mr Nduka Nwanwenne, Zonal Commander for the zone comprising Edo and Delta, disclosed this to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Benin.
Nwanwenne said that the suspects, four males and two females, were arrested for organising foreign travel, which promoted suspected prostitution of an 18-year-old primary school drop-out, to Mali.
He said that the victim who was an orphan was staying with her grandmother at Agbor in Delta, when she fell into the hands of a trafficker in May 2018.
He also said that the suspects were apprehended by operatives of the Command, with the support of the Police, at the weekend.
The commander added that the suspects were picked up in Agbor and Asaba in Delta, and in Benin in Edo “in a well-coordinated raid after surveillance activities.’’
He explained that the victim had revealed that between the point of recruitment at Agbor and Mali where she was introduced into prostitution, she was passed on to various persons not less than eight times.
He said that the victim also revealed that at every point of exchange, she was sold to the next trafficker, adding that she faced exploitation throughout the journey until she got to a house in Farasabapie in Mali.
Nwanwenne further said that the victim told the command that it was while she was being exploited that one of her customers assisted her to escape to Bamako, from where she was taken to the Nigerian embassy.
He said that the victim was at the embassy for five months before she was brought to Nigeria.
He reiterated the agency’s readiness to curb human trafficking through the reintegration of victims and making offenders face the law.