[Stop-traffic] News/NIGERIA: AFRICA NEWS SERVICE - HUMAN SMUGGLERS ARRESTED IN TOGO.

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Subject: [Stop-traffic] News/NIGERIA: AFRICA NEWS SERVICE - HUMAN SMUGGLERS ARRESTED IN TOGO.
From: Melanie Orhant (morhant@igc.org)
Date: Thu Jul 20 2000 - 09:23:27 EDT


7-10-00 NIGERIA: AFRICA NEWS SERVICE - HUMAN SMUGGLERS ARRESTED IN TOGO.
By PAUL OHIA, POST EXPRESS (LAGOS).
Lagos - Human smugglers that operate under the pretext of giving employment
to prospective job seekers in Europe were arrested Thursday in Lome, Togo,
with a cargo of 40 victims on transit from Nigeria.
British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), reported that nine ring leaders
were arrested in one fell swoop near Benin/Nigeria border with a cargo of
human beings including women and children.
Operating on a tip-off, the Beninoise police descended on the culprits in
Lome, arrested and deported them together with their victims by road to the
Nigerian border where they were handed over to the Nigerian police.
A police source in Lome revealed that the modus operandi of the smugglers
included the collection of large sums of money from victims under the
pretext of giving them jobs in Europe and the United Arab Emirate (UAE).
According to the source, when they arrive in Lome, they are usually sold
into slavery in Europe or Gabon. The female victims are usually forced into
prostitution by making them work in brothels.
Two young female victims who spoke with the BBC alleged that the ring
leader of the operation collected more than N400,000 from each of them.
According to a conservative estimate given by the female victims, over 100
female girls fall victim to this scam every year.
What astonished the police most was that most of the victims were children
between the ages of 10 and 15 whom they assumed must have been kidnapped.
Meanwhile, the culprits have been taken by the Nigerian police for further
interrogation while their operation within the country has become a major
point of further investigation.
Parents whose children are reported missing have been asked by the police
to come over and cross-check if they are among those impounded in the human
cargo.
All Material Subject to Copyright
Copyright 2000: Africa News Service. All Rights Reserved.
MIDDLE EAST INTELLIGENCE WIRE
AFRICA NEWS SERVICE 10/07/2000
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