Operatives of the Inspector General of Police Special Intelligence Response Team, IRTA, has busted a Kano-based human trafficking syndicate which specialized in selling Nigerians into slavery in Libya.
According to a report by The Vanguard, a 28-year-old mother of two, Nofisat Mustapha, who was rescued by the operatives, was on her way to Libya from Lagos after the syndicate promised her a lucrative job in the warring North African country.
Reports also have it that the women were not required to pay any money for their transportation, as they would be transported to Kano state by the syndicate’s agents for free and when they arrived Kano, members of the syndicate would fix them in a bus that would take them to Niger Republic, from where they would be taken to Libya by road.
Sources disclosed that the Kano based syndicate has an affiliation with a human trafficking cell in Niger Republic, which after receiving these women, would sell them off to prostitution rings in Libya, where they would be held captive and be made to work as prostitutes for two years in order to off set the bills spent in transporting them to Libya and their owners would make substantial profits from them.
In his confession, Abubakar Suleiman said;
“I started human trafficking last year, I was introduced to the business by a Nigerien, known as Almusuru, who had relocated back to his country. Almusuru and I were working together at Matara Motor Park Daura Road, Kano. After Almusuru left for Niger Republic, he would call me that people were coming to meet him in Niger and when they got to Kano, I should put them in a vehicle that would bring them to Niger republic.
I have sent over 100 people to Almusru and I earned N10,000 for each of them. I don’t know where the people came from, Almusuru was the person communicating with all the agents across Nigeria and my job was just to take them to Niger Republic and Almusuru would pay me my money. I don’t even know if they would get to Libya safely or die in the desert. I knew it was a crime but I was doing it because I needed the money”, he stated
Their last victim identified as Nofisat Mustapha, who is a native of Abeokuta Ogun State, narrated how she was lured by the syndicate’s agent and how she was rescued by the police.
“I am a secondary school dropout, my husband left me three years ago, when I was about having my second child. He heard that I was going to have the child through surgery and he had no money, so, he abandoned me in the hospital and ran away. My mother footed the bills and I was discharged but I had no job and was forced to work at a building site in Ogun State.
I worked to the point where I started feeling pains from the surgery and I had to stop, then I started cooking and selling noodles. Last month, there was this lady living in my area who approached me and told me that she didn’t like the way I was suffering and she wanted me to quit and travel to Libya to get a good job where I would earn good money.
She said she would send me to Kano state , then the person in Kano would send me to Libya, I would work for one year and that the Kano man who sponsored the trip would take all my salary and after wards, I would start earning my money. I boarded a bus to Kano from Agege, Lagos and when I arrived Kano, the police were already waiting for me and I was arrested.
I didn’t know that the plan was to sell me off in Libya. I was only trying to go and look for money to take care of my children. I am not a prostitute and I have not done prostitution” she lamented.