The ring leader of a human trafficking syndicate, Omowunmi Michael, who specialises in selling out young girls for prostitution, was arrested during a recent attempt to smuggle four girls to Mali.
The 30-year-old suspect was arrested at her Iyana-Ipaja home by operatives of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corp (NSCDC), Lagos State Command.
The operatives also rescued four young ladies, Aloaye Joy, 22; Victoria Oshioke, 18; Amaka Eze, 23; and Anuoluwapo Mustapha, 22, who were being prepared for their sojourn to Mail.
THISDAY learnt that Omowunmi’s arrest was sequel to a disagreement that erupted between the victims and the gang leader over how much to be paid by the former.
The suspect had demanded an upfront payment of N1 million by each of the victims before she would hand them over to the main dealer who is based in Cotonou, Benin Republic.
It was also learnt that the suspect, having failed in her desperate bid to secure any financial commitment from the victims, threatened to return them to Edo State where they were recruited.
It was further gathered that out of anger, two of the victims, Aloaye Joy and Victoria Oshioke, stormed out of the house and where asking a truck driver to give them a lift to Benin-city when they were first sighted by an operative.
Parading the suspect at the Command headquarters in Alausa, Ikeja, the Commandant of NSCDC, Lagos State Command, Otiobhi Ehi Cyprian, said the suspect was arrested for allegedly trying to traffic four ladies to Mali for prostitution.
The commandant said the suspect was apprehended on January 15, 2020, at about 9.20a.m. at number 13 Abuke Oku Street, Iyana Ipaja.
He said at the time of arrest, the suspect had in her house four ladies, who she intended to traffic.
According to him, “Michael is alleged to have recruited the victims to travel to Mali for prostitution. Two of the victims, Victoria Oshioke and Aloaye Joy, were transported from Benin-city, Edo State, by one Favour who is currently on the run, while Amaka Eze, who hails from Onitsha in Anambra State, was linked to the suspect by one Lekan.”
The commandant, while discouraging other vulnerable young ladies from falling into the hands of human traffickers who may promise them good jobs abroad, stressed that the dangers of human trafficking cannot be understated.
Oshioke, in her confessional statement, said she was first trafficked to Mali when she was 16 years old by her boyfriend.
She said her boyfriend sold her to the syndicate based in Cotonou, who in turn took her to Mali where she was made to sleep with different men.