The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) says it has arrested a 63-year-old woman, Esther ImahrIa, for alleged human trafficking in Benin.
Mr Nduka Nwanwenne, Zonal Commander of the NDLEA comprising Edo and Delta, disclosed this to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Benin on Wednesday.
Nwanwenne said the agency had also rescued five victims from the woman who operated a brothel in Benin city.
He said that both arrest and rescue of the suspect and victims were done in collaboration with the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC).
He said that the victims were rescued from a brothel around Ahor area of Benin.
The zonal commander said that the woman, also known as Mama Dogo, hailed from Ugbor Village in Oredo Local Government Area of the state.
He said the woman was also accused of exploiting four of the five girls rescued.
According to him, preliminary investigation reveals that four of the girls were recruited from Katsina-Ala in Benue by one Solomon who promised them a job at a restaurant in Benin.
Nwanwenne said that the fifth girl was recruited from Akwa Ibom.
He said that on arrival in Benin, the victims were handed over to the suspect who operated a brothel.
“The victims said that the suspect collected all their earnings which ran into hundreds of thousands of Naira..
“According to them, their earnings were recorded on a daily basis in a card for each girl,’’ he said.
The zonal commander said the agency was on the trail of other suspects who were at large while the victims were undergoing counseling from the command’s psycho-social experts for re-integration.
He said that NAPTIP Director-General, Julie Okah-Donli, had re-positioned the agency to track all cases of human trafficking across the country.