The Katsina State Command of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) has arrested two suspected human traffickers and rescued 18 victims in the Charanchi Local Government Area of the state.
The state’s NIS Comptroller, Abdulrazak Muazu, in a media parley at the Command’s headquarters in Katsina on Tuesday, said the suspects were apprehended at a patrol base in Charanchi after an intelligence report.
He said the suspects, Amadu Abdullahi, 32, and Fatima Abdullahi, 35, mischievously arranged a “fake marriage” to take two minors in their custody to Libya, while one Bala Mai-Biri abandoned the victims and escaped when the officers intercepted them.
He explained that the suspected human traffickers and their victims intended to cross the border through illegal routes along the Jibia axis to Agadez in Niger Republic and proceed to Libya before they were intercepted.
Muazu said: “We arrested two suspected human traffickers and rescued 18 victims of human trafficking at Charanchi Patrol Base. All the traffickers and their victims are Nigerians from Edo, Osun, Ogun, Lagos and Delta States.
“The victims comprise 12 females and eight males, age range between 3-45 years. Their mission was to cross the border through an irregular route, along the Jibia axis to Agadez, Niger Republic and proceeded to Libya for greener pasture.
“In the process of interception, one of the suspected human traffickers named Bala Mai Biri escaped and abandoned his vehicle Citreon 806 with registration number GWL672ZA Kano.”
He assured that the nefarious activities of human traffickers in the region would not deter the determination of NIS to effectively man the nation’s borders in Katsina, to curtail the influx of irregular migrants and transnational organised crimes.
He said the arrested traffickers and their victims would be handed over to the zonal office of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) for further action