Uyo - The National Agency for the Prohibition of Traffic in Persons and Other Related Matters (NAPTIP) says it has arrested 48 suspected human traffickers in Akwa Ibom in 2015.
The Uyo Zonal Commander of the agency, Ikechi Nwachukwu, disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Uyo on Sunday while giving a breakdown of the agency’s activities during the year.
Nwachukwu said that 23 of the suspects were males while 25 were females.
He said that the command secured four convictions during the period, adding that the convicts were serving various jail terms, ranging from 18 months to five years, to serve as deterrent to would-be-traffickers.
He said that the agency received 65 cases and fully investigated 20, while 45 were still at various stages of investigation.
Nwachukwu said that the command had strengthened its strategies to make the zone uncomfortable for human traffickers.
"Traffickers are always up in their game. As we chase them away from one side they will always want to device another means of luring their vulnerable victims into the trade."
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"In the last one year, the command adopted new strategies in its operations which helped to expose the antics and tactics of traffickers in the zone."
"We will continue to do our best to chase them out of their heinous trade," he said.
Nwachukwu said part of the new strategies was taking sensitisation campaigns against the crime to communities.
"What we are doing now is enlightening our people not to be carried away by the antics of the traffickers to get involved in this modern slavery," he said.
He said that this year the command would involve the Akwa Ibom Traditional Rulers’ Council in disseminating information in their domain on why the people should not get involved in the crime.
The zonal commander called for synergy between NAPTIP and other security agencies in the country to stop the crime.