Joint operatives of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Nigeria High Commission in New Delhi, India, the New Delhi Police as well as activists from the New Delhi based – Anti-Human Trafficking Organisation known as Vihaan-WMS, have arrested a notorious foreign –based human trafficker, Joy Shandy Okah in a deliberate operation targeting big time traffickers outside Nigeria.
A statement issued by the NAPTIP Press and Public Relations Officer, Adekoye Vincent, said the successful operation also led to the rescue of three Nigerian victims of forced prostitution (names withheld) in New Delhi, India.
The Director General of NAPTIP, Dr. Fatima Waziri-Azi, on assumption of duties, had vowed to ensure that high profile human traffickers across the World identified, arrest, prosecuted and the proceed of their ill-gotten wealth confiscated and forfeited as restitution to victims of trafficking.
The statement also noted that in order to realize this mission, the Director General has embarked on a strategic advocacy to expand the pool of the Agency and enhance operational relationship with critical partners within and outside Nigeria.
The statement stated that foremost among partners that have demonstrated unconditional commitment to work with the Agency is the International Police Organization (INTERPOL) of which the India police is a member.
Explaining how the operation was coordinated, the Head of the International and Intelligence Cooperation Unit of NAPTIP, Mrs. Angela Agbayekhai, said the prompt directive and support from the Director General greatly accounted for the success of the operation.
She stated that “On 12 December 2021, NAPTIP received an SOS through email from a Nigerian Minor-17 years old (names withheld) who was deceitfully trafficked from Nigeria for forced prostitution in India. She requested the intervention of the NAPTIP for her rescue and that of other Nigerian victims held captive and forced into sex trade by one Joy Shandy Okah, a Nigerian based in India.
“NAPTIP networked with the Indian based NGO Vihaan-WMS through intelligence sharing, which resulted in the rescue of the three victims and arrest of their trafficker on at New Krishina Park near Well Pharmacy Vikaspuri, New Delhi – India.
“The victims were recruited from Edo, Delta and Rivers states, Nigeria and trafficked to India for sexual exploitation by Joy Shandy Okah and her accomplices. One of the victims travelled from Nigeria on 17th September 2021, while the other two arrived India from Nigeria on 14th December 2021. The victims were subjected to oath rituals in Nigeria before their eventual travel.”