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Operatives of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons, NAPTIP, have arrested a middle-aged man, Emmanuel Stephen for allegedly trafficking his 21 years old girlfriend (name withheld) to Mali for prostitution and sexual exploitation.

The arrest came barely two weeks after a notorious trans-border human trafficker was arrested by the combined team of NAPTIP and another sister Security agency in Kano on their way to Libya. About 12 victims were also rescued during the successful operation.

The suspect, Emmanuel Stephen, an indigene of Akoko, Ondo State who resides in Karimajiji, airport road, Abuja, was said to have been in a love relationship with the victim, an apprentice in one of the beauty stores in Abuja since the past two years with a promise to marry her.

During interrogation, the suspect confessed that his Senior Sister who stays in Mali called him early in the year and told him that she had graduated from her “Madam” and requested for a girl to be sent to her.

Stephen stated further that he convinced his girlfriend who agreed and they were later linked up with somebody in Benin City, Edo State who later arranged the movement from Nigeria to Mali by road in April 2021.

According to him, the Sister promised that the girl will help her to work in a beer parlour in Mali.

Investigation revealed that as soon as the victim arrived Mali, she was sold to another woman for a sum of N1, 500, 000 (One Million, Five Hundred Thousand Naira) and was subsequently forced into exploitative prostitution.

Few weeks later, due to the rigorous sexual activities with numerous partners, the victim was said to have developed a strange sickness with other associated health challenges and presently in serious condition.

The victim was said to have called her family in Nigeria and narrated her ordeal to them.

Effort by the family to bring her back yielded nothing as the Madam insisted on collecting the sum of N1.5 Million before she can release her.

Reacting to the development, Director General of NAPTIP, Senator Basheer Garba Muhammed, expressed sadness over the fate of the victim and promised that the Agency will work with other partners including Security Agencies to rescue her.

“I feel sad over the plight of the victim in question. NAPTIP in partnership with other stakeholders will do everything possible to rescue her.

Muhammed cautioned parents to be careful with the type of relationship their Children keep.

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