human trafficker

Operatives of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), Ministry of foreign Affairs, the Nigeria High Commission in New Delhi, India, the New Delhi Police as well as activists from the New Delhi based – Anti-Human Trafficking Organisation known as Vihaan-(WMS), in a joint operation have a notorious Foreign –based human trafficker, Joy Shandy Okah, a suspected human trafficker operating in India.

Press and Public Relations Unit, NAPTIP, Adekoye Vincent, said that the successful operation also led to the rescue of three Nigerian victims of forced prostitution in New Delhi, India.

Explaining how the operation was coordinated, Head of the International and Intelligence Cooperation Unit of NAPTIP, Mrs. Angela Agbayekhai, said the prompt directive and support from the Director General of NAPTIP, Dr. Fatima Waziri-Azi, accounted for the success of the operation.    

Agbayekhai said: “On December 12, 2021, NAPTIP received a Save Our Soul (SOS) via email from a Nigerian Minor-17 years old, who was deceitfully trafficked from Nigeria for forced prostitution in India. She requested the intervention of the NAPTIP for her rescue and that of other Nigerian victims held captive and forced into sex trade by Okah, a Nigerian based in India. NAPTIP networked with the Indian based NGO Vihaan-WMS through intelligence sharing, which resulted in the rescue of the three victims and arrest of their trafficker at New Krishina Park, near Well Pharmacy Vikaspuri, New Delhi – India.”

According to Agbayekhai, the victims were recruited from Edo, Delta and Rivers states in Nigeria and trafficked to India for sexual exploitation by Okah and her accomplices. One of the victims travelled from Nigeria on September 17, 2021, while the other two arrived India from Nigeria on December 14, 2021. The victims were subjected to oath rituals in Nigeria before their eventual travel.

“The victims travelled with questionable Passports and Student Visas. They were eventually held captive in New Delhi by Okah, who sponsored their trip to India. Their phones and travel documents were seized and they were forced into prostitution to pay up a debt of N4.5 Million each until their rescue on January 6, 2022. Okah is currently facing trial in an Indian Court since 7th January 2022 after her arrest and the victims who are currently in a safe house linked to Vihaan-WMS and assisting the authorities in this regard,” said Agbayekhai.

Speaking on the development, Waziri-Azi stated: “I have directed that all persons linked with the recruitment, harbouring, trafficking and sexual exploitation of the three victims who are based in Nigeria, be identified, arrested and prosecuted. We shall take the appropriate legal step to ensure that such proceeds of crime are forfeited and use to assuage the pain inflicted on the victims.”

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