The police in Edo say seven teenagers have been rescued from trafficker planning to send them overseas for illicit trade.
The state Commissioner of Police, Philip Ogbadu, who disclosed this to newsmen in Benin on Friday, said the victims were rescued following an intelligence report.
He said the victims, who were rescued on Thursday, included six girls and a male, who were allegedly billed to be trafficked to Cote d’Ivoire and Libya.
The commissioner explained that the victims were aged between 16 and 20 years.
He said that the girls, who disguised themselves as Muslims by wearing hijab, were intercepted by the police at Isihor police check-point, Benin City, on the Benin-Lagos highway.
He said that the victims, who are from Delta, Edo and Enugu States but all resident in Edo, were allegedly recruited by a sister of one of them for the journey.
“They are minors, six girls and one boy. On interrogation we found out they were being trafficked to Cote d’Ivoire by a relation to one of them.
“It is a case of trafficking. They will be handed over to the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Person (NAPTIP) for rehabilitation,” he said.
One of the victims later confirmed to newsmen that the journey was arranged by her sister for someone in Libya.
“I am not the one conveying them. I am going to Libya while they are going to Cote d’Ivoire. We were arrested at the checkpoint in Isihor.
“I am not the one trafficking the girls. They asked me to pay N200,000, but the person that is trafficking the girls is in Libya and he paid money to sponsor the girls,” he said.
One of the girls (name withheld) said they were recruited by Godfrey’s sister at a birthday party of one of their friends.
“She asked if I would like to travel out and that work is available there; cleaner, house help and prostitution. I told him I will do house help work and she then asked me to join them.
“We went to the person that took us for the journey and stayed there for three days.
“We were arrested on Thursday at a police check-point when searching our vehicle, they found Indian hemp on one of the boys in the vehicle and took us to the police station,” she said.