Barely two weeks after a Nigerian trapped in Lebanon was rescued, the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) has rescued another victim from Egypt.
According to a statement made available to NATIONAL ACCORD, the latest development came on the heel of the call by the Director General of NAPTIP, Dame Julie Okah-Donli for leadership of the various regulatory bodies in the country to warn their members against aiding the trafficking of Nigerian for illicit purposes.
It would be recalled also that the Agency, had few weeks ago, in partnership with the Nigerian Embassy in Beirut, rescued two Nigerians of Kwara State origin who were victims of human trafficking from Lebanon.
The lady (name withheld), was received by Officers of NAPTIP on Thursday at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport at about 14:28hrs local time. The victim was said to be elated as she found her feet back on home soil.
The Director General, Okah-Donli, was in Cairo with the Director Research and Programme Development, Mr Godwin Morka for the Regional conference on Irregular Migration from the Sahel region through the Central Mediterranean, when her attention was called to a victim of trafficking who had fled from her captives and needed help.
The Director General, with support of the Nigerian Ambassador to Egypt, His Excellency Professor Dandatti Abdulkadir, rescued the girl and she had been in the Nigerian Embassy in Cairo until her return.
The statement said further, “Preliminary Intelligence gathering revealed that the Victim, a Nigerian female, from Edo state was trafficked to Cairo, Egypt in May 2019 by a Nigerian Syndicate who are in the business of moving Nigerians to the Middle East for Labour exploitation, but she was told that she was being employed to teach English.
“She travelled via the Murtala Mohammed International Airport on 27th May, 2019 transiting Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) and Khartoum (Sudan) aboard Ethiopian Airlines (ET900 and ET342) before travelling for three days by road from Sudan to Egypt.
“She was engaged in domestic servitude in Cairo, Egypt with conditions different from her earlier agreement with the agents. She was made to work long hours, lived in deplorable conditions, physically abused and sexually molested by members of the trafficking syndicate and her employers.
“The Agency engaged the victim, the Nigerian Embassy in Egypt and other stakeholders which led to the successful rescue of the victim on 27th November, 2019. She has been in the care of the Nigerian Embassy in Cairo, Egypt since her rescue until her repatriation today, 30th January, 2020. Her return was supported by the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), under the IOM voluntary repatriation assistance programme. Her return was earlier delayed due to complications in her documentations which were resolved by the Nigerian Mission in Cairo.”
Intelligence gathering is said to be ongoing to uncover the true identities and current whereabouts of members of the syndicate based in Egypt and Nigeria. The Agency is currently liaising with the relevant law enforcement organisations in Nigeria for the arrest of some of the identified suspects.
In a response, the Director-General of NAPTIP, Okah-Donli while expressing her appreciation to the Ambassador and officials of the Nigerian embassy in Cairo, again warned travel agents, labour recruiters and other nationals who are now involved in the new wave of Human Trafficking especially to the middle east to desist from such unlawful acts.
She also warned parents to weigh every offer so as not to sell their children into servitude.