Nigeria Police Force
The Ebonyi State Police Command said it arrested three suspects who specialise in trafficking minors from different parts of the country for forced labour and Sexual exploitation yesterday.
According to the report given by the police spokesperson, Loverth Odah, while parading the suspects at the Police B Division in Abakaliki, said that 32 victims were rescued from the suspects.
She stated that on January 7, 2022 at about 9:30am, one Mrs. Nwankwo Ijeoma of Uteruife Village in Ebonyi local government area of the state reported a case of her missing 14 year-old daughter, Nwankwo Chidera.
The Police spokesperson said that in the cause of investigation, a company’s advertisement flier captioned “Neo Life” containing a phone number was found in the daughter’s room.
She said that the owner of the phone number, one Christian Nwankwo, aged 19 years, was trailed and arrested.
Odah added that the suspect led police operatives to their hideout at Okposi Umuaghara in Ezza North Loval government area of the state where two other members of his gang were arrested.
She gave their names as, Nwagboduhu Ekene, 20 years old male and Nwaoko Godwin, make and aged 24 years.
The spokesperson further said 16 males and 15 females who are indigenes of Ebonyi, Enugu, Imo, Anambra, Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Benue, Abia and Rivers States were rescued from them.
She added that while victims were rescued in Ebonyi, Chidera Nwankwo was traced to Imo State where she was also rescued.
She said that a suspected trafficker who posed as the company representative tricked Chidera into running away from her parent’s house to Imo State.
She said that an apartment was rented for her and other children where she was serially abused sexually.
“Our preliminary investigation revealed that the children are trafficked from different parts of the country and are being used for forced labour and sexual exploitation in the name of networking/hawking NEO Life company products,” the statement said.