The Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), Lagos Seaports and Marine Command, successfully foiled an attempt to smuggle seven Nigerian girls to Burkina Faso.
The Comptroller of Immigration, Malam Mohammed Saddiq, revealed this during a media conference in Lagos on Friday.
The interception took place on November 12 at around 19:00 hours. The prime suspect, Miss Helen Dandam Nanbyen, 26, from Wadata village in Wase Local Government Area of Plateau State, was apprehended. The NIS had been monitoring the suspects for approximately two months based on intelligence gathered by their operatives. The arrest was made by the Badagry Marine Border Patrol Team along the Pashi waterway, which borders Nigeria and Benin Republic.
During the investigation, it was discovered that the seven victims, aged between 19 and 23, hail from Langtang North Local Government Area of Plateau State. The girls willingly consented to the journey using false identities, with the intent to engage in prostitution in Burkina Faso, their intended destination.
The suspects were found to have neither valid travel documents nor the financial means to sustain themselves during the journey. Nanbyen, under interrogation, confessed to her involvement in the illicit business and admitted to facilitating the transportation of potential sex workers into Burkina Faso. She disclosed that her madam, an indigene of Edo State who operates a beer selling spot in Ouagadougou (the capital of Burkina Faso), supported her activities. Nanbyen also implicated another person named Miss Ella, who she claimed recruited four of the girls but is currently at large.
The arrest was a result of the renewed commitment of the NIS, under the directive of the Comptroller-General, Caroline Wura-ola Adepoju, to combat migrant smuggling, human trafficking, and all forms of crimes within the maritime space.