Human trafficking: 32 trafficked children rescued, three suspects arrested in Ebonyi

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The Ebonyi State Police Command has arrested three suspects who specialise in trafficking in children for forced labour and sexual exploitation.

Spokesman for the command, Loveth Odah who disclosed this while parading the suspects at the Police B Division in Abakaliki yesterday said 32 victims of human trafficking were rescued.

She stated that on January 7, 2022, one Mrs. Nwankwo Ijeoma of Uteruife Village in Ebonyi local government area of the state reported the case of her missing 14 year-old daughter, Nwankwo Chidera.

Odah said in the cause of investigation, a company’s advertisement flier captioned “Neo Life” containing a phone number was found in the daughter’s room.

She said the owner of the phone number, one Christian Nwankwo, aged 19 years, was trailed and arrested.

She added that the suspect led police operatives to their hideout at Okposi Umuaghara in Ezza North council area of the state where two other members of the gang – 20-year-old Nwagboduhu Ekene and Nwaoko Godwin, 24 – were arrested.

Odah further said 16 males and 15 females who are indigenes of Ebonyi, Enugu, Imo, Anambra, Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Benue, Abia and Rivers States were rescued from them.

She added that while the victims were rescued in Ebonyi, Chidera Nwankwo was traced to Imo State where she was also rescued.

She stated that a suspected trafficker who posed as the company representative tricked Chidera into running away from her parent’s house to Imo State.

She said an apartment was rented for her and other children where she and the other victims were serially abused sexually.

“Our preliminary investigation revealed that the children are trafficked from different parts of the country and are being used for forced labour and sexual exploitation in the name of networking/hawking NEO Life company products,” she added.

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