By Francis Sardauna
The Katsina State Command of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) has nabbed two suspected human traffickers and rescued 18 victims in Charanchi Local Government Area of the state.
The state Comptroller of the Service, Abdulrazak Muazu, who unveiled this to journalists Tuesday at the Command’s headquarters in Katsina, said the duo were apprehended at a patrol base in Charanchi after intelligence report.
He said the suspected human traffickers — Amadu Abdullahi, 32, and Fatima Abdullahi, 35, — “mischievously arranged a fake marriage” to take two minors in their custody to Libya, while one Bala Mai-Biri escaped when the officers intercepted them and left the victims.
He explained that the suspected human traffickers and their victims intended to cross the border through illegal routes along Jibia axis to Agadez in Niger Republic and proceed to Libya when they were intercepted.
He said: “We arrested two suspected human traffickers and rescued 18 victims of human trafficking at Charanchi Patrol Base. All the traffickers and their victims are Nigerians from Edo, Osun, Ogun, Lagos and Delta States.
“The victims comprise 12 females and eight males, age range between 3-45 years. Their mission was to cross the border through an irregular route, along Jibia axis to Agadez, Niger Republic and proceeded to Libya for greener pasture.
“In the process of interception, one of the suspected human traffickers named Bala Mai Biri escaped and abandoned his vehicle Citreon 806 with registration number GWL672ZA Kano.”
He added that: “It was discovered that Ahmadu Abdullahi and Fatima Abdullahi mischievously arranged a fake marriage to enable them traffic two minors in their company.”
He noted that the nefarious activities of human traffickers would not deter his determination in effectively manning the nation’s borders in Katsina in order to curtail the influx of irregular migrants and transnational organised crimes.
He said the arrested traffickers and their victims will be handed over to the zonal office of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) for further action.