No fewer than 24 girls have been rescued by the Lagos State Police Command from suspected human traffickers’ hideout at Abattoir in the Agege area of the state.
The Lagos Police Command confirmed the development on Wednesday, saying that four suspected human traffickers were arrested during the operation.
PUNCH Metro reports that the victims were between the ages of 13 to 27, all from Oron Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom.
The suspects, Okon Felix, Michael Etim, Victor Asuquo and Goodness Ebiefie were allegedto have trafficked the victims from the Oron Local Government Area, Akwa Ibom State, and kept them in shanties in the Abattoir area of Lagos, where they use the girls for prostitution.
After frantic efforts to locate the whereabouts of one of the victims proved abortive in her home state, it was learnt that her family reported a case of a missing person to the police in the state.
The medium reported that a source said someone, who saw the victim in the Abattoir area of Lagos State, informed her sister, who came to Lagos and contacted the police.
“After efforts to locate her proved abortive, someone saw her in Lagos State and the police were contacted to rescue her and on getting to the hideout, 23 more girls were found in the location,” the source stated.
It was further gathered that the suspects sublet the shanties, where they kept each of the victims at the rate of N1,000 daily, and were collecting between N1,500 and N2,000 from customers, who visit the shanties to have sex with the girls.
Confirming the incident, the state Police Public Relations Officer, Bala Elkana, said the 24 girls were trafficked to the state since January, adding that they were rescued by personnel from the Area ‘G’ and the Abattoir Division, while four suspects were arrested.
He stated that investigation into the matter was ongoing, adding that the suspects would be charged.
Elkana said, “Twenty-four girls were trafficked from Akwa Ibom State to Lagos since January 2020. We have rescued the girls and arrested four suspected traffickers, Felix Okon, 32; Michael Etim, 22; Victor Asuquo, 35; and Goodness Ebiefie, 32. The girls are between the ages of 13 and 27, and we rescued them around the Abattoir area along the railway line.
“The matter was reported to us as a case of a missing person. One of the girls was reported missing in Akwa Ibom State and the family was searching for her and got information that the girl was seen somewhere in Lagos, so when we got to the location, we stormed it in search of the girl and found her.
“Surprisingly, we also found 23 other girls, who are all from Akwa Ibom State, and all of them confessed that their parents were not aware of their whereabouts.
“The girls all live in shanties and pay N1,000 per day for the shanties. The traffickers brought them to Lagos for prostitution and they collect between N1,500 and N2,000 from customers, who sleep with them, and some of them don’t get the money directly, because the customers pay the pimps. We are investigating the case, because the number is likely to be higher. The suspects will be charged.”