The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) has paraded five suspected members of a human trafficking syndicate.
The suspects, Blessing Gabriel, 25; Precious Ejiro-Owoh 29; Rose Gabriel, 25; Priscilla Bassey, 33 and Terry Smooth, 38, reportedly confessed to have taken two Nigerian girls to Dubai, United Arab Emirates, to become commercial sex workers and as well record the girls’ nude videos while they were taking oaths.
According to The Punch, the group was busted by the agency on September 8, 2015, and only one of their victims, simply identified as Ann, has been rescued.
While Ann is at the NAPTIP office for rehabilitation, the suspects are being thoroughly drilled to provide information that would lead to the arrest of other members of the group.
Ann and Chisom, two of the trafficking gang’s victims, were said to have fled Dubai in August, a development which made the syndicate put their nude visuals on the social media.
Officials of the Lagos Zonal Command of NAPTIP said it arrested Dubai-based Blessing at the Agboroko village, Iba, Lagos, when she sneaked into the country for a traditional marriage, who confessed to have trafficked Ann.
Other gang members were also reportedly arrested in the Lekki Phase 1 and Ajah areas, while Blessing who stated that she worked with a travel agency in Dubai, disclosed that she got Ann as a commercial sex worker, after sending N35,000 to Nigeria.
“I did not know the victim from anywhere. Gina, who has not yet been arrested, is my friend in Dubai. She was the one who told me that she needed a girl from Nigeria to do ‘runs’. I then told Precious, my Nigerian friend, to get me someone.
“Gina sent N35,000 to prepare the girl that would be brought. That was in July. So, it happened that the girl, Ann, was brought to Dubai. I personally went to pick her from the airport.
“When she came to Gina, the girl was taken inside a room, stripped and asked to say an oath. I was not there; I was not the person that stripped her. She did the job for about a month before she fled from Dubai.
“I knew they were bringing her for commercial sex; and she was also aware. She told Precious that she was ready to travel out of the country and do any kind of work,” Blessing explained.
Precious, on her own part, confessed to have lured Ann to Dubai, but asked to be pardoned as it was her first time of being involved in the trafficking business.
According to Joseph Famakin, the NAPTIP Lagos director, the nude video was released on Youtube after Ann escaped from the ring, not before the girls had been forced to swear to oaths.
Famakin stated: “The victim was recruited from Lagos for Blessing, who was in Dubai. Blessing was responsible for her travel expenses. The process of preparing her for Dubai was coordinated by Blessing’s sister, Rose Gabriel.
“On arrival in Dubai, the oath was forcefully administered on her, and it was recorded on video. This recording was later released on Youtube after she escaped from her exploiters in Dubai. She was forced into prostitution contrary to the initial promise of being given a job at a hair dressing saloon.”
It was also gathered that other members of the syndicate in Dubai; Gina, Fegor Ebony Ejeba, and Nicole Esther Otubu, are still being trailed by the NAPTIP officers.
Confirming the case also, Josiah Emerole, the assistant Director, Press and Public Relations, NAPTIP, informed that the suspects would be charged to court, adding that “We call on all Nigerians to join hands with the agency to nip in the bud human trafficking in the country.”
It would be recalled that a Nigerian girl became a sex slave in Russia in a bid to sustain her education, as another report emerged earlier that an Economics student at a local institution, had to resort to prostitution to survive.