The Director General of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), Julie Okah-Donli, has raised an alarm over what he described as new tricks employed by human traffickers.
Okah-Donli who was speaking during an interactive meeting with the Edo State Task Force against trafficking in Benin City lamented that the menace appears to have heightened despite measures to curb it.
She urged all stakeholders to be vigilant as they go about their duties while also dismissing the notion that only underage girls can be victims of trafficking.
“You must beam your searchlight on transporters. Go to the motor parks because this is where they take these girls from. Then you go to the waterside, they take the boats too,” she said.
“By the time you seize one bus, prosecute the bus owner, prosecute the driver, trust me they will stop carrying people.
“The traffickers are not waiting for us, they are always on the move and they are very fast, so we must be ahead of them at all times. Then you also have to look at orphanages.
“There’s a lot of orphanage trafficking going on but a lot of people don’t know.
“Some of them actually kidnap children from the local communities on the streets and put them there.
“Human trafficking is not about underage girls so when you talk about underage girls, you miss the point.
“I can be trafficked; a 50-year-old woman can be trafficked. Anybody can be trafficked so it’s not about underage girls. Even boys can be trafficked as well”.
Also speaking on the matter, the chairman of the Edo State Task Force, Yinka Omorogbe, stressed the importance of collaboration by stakeholders in tackling the scourge.
She also promised that the agency will work with the tips shared by NAPTIP during the meeting.