Operatives of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) and the Department of State Services (DSS), Imo State Command, in combine operation, have rescued a middle – aged Burundian woman and her three children suspected to be victims of trafficking.

The woman, Ms Siniremera Snadrine Bizimana and her children, namely; Murwaneza Zertha Maecy, Akimana ken Bethel and Umwiza Goodluck Collins, were rescued from a village in Imo State where they were being exploited by their trafficker. They were set free following the sting operation carried out on their holding mud house located in Umunoha village in Mbaitol Local Government Area of Imo State.

Press and Public Relations Unit, NAPTIP, Mr. Adekoye Vincent, said: “Investigation revealed that the victims were rescued based on a complaint from the United Nations High Commission for Refugees lodged at the Headquarters of NAPTIP and further directive from the Director General of the Agency, Dr Fatima Waziri – Azi. The victims, who have refugee status in Kenya, were trafficked to Lagos, Nigeria by yet to be identified human trafficker in September 2021 and thereafter moved to Umunoha, Imo State, where their movement were restricted and forced into menial labour of all sorts on daily basis in order to feed. Their traveling document and other valuable personal belongings were also confiscated by the unknown trafficker in the process.”

The Commander, Imo State Command of NAPTIP, Mr. Earnest Ogbu, stated that account from the victims indicated that they might have been deceived by the trafficker into coming to Nigeria and a remote village in Imo State without any resistance.

Reacting to the breakthrough, Waziri – Azi, appreciated the effort and collaboration of the Imo State Command of the DSS for providing the needed operational support. She assured that those behind the ordeal of the victims shall be identified and prosecuted.

The DG added: “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.”

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