By Mustapha Sumaila
The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) has rescued 43 victims of human trafficking in Katsina and Kano States.
A statement by the Head, Press and Public Relations of the agency, Mr Josiah Emerole, said on Friday in Abuja that the victims were on their way to different parts of Africa and Europe counties for various illicit businesses.
Emerole explained that 21 of the victims were intercepted in Kano state by operatives of NAPTIP, while 22 others were rescued by the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) in Katsina state.
He said that NAPTIP was investigating the victims with a view to reuniting them with their families.
According to him, a suspect was caught along with the victims in Katsina.
The victims, who were rescued in Kano state, were intercepted at Kwanan Dangora, a link between Kano, Jigawa and Katsina states.
The spokesperson said preliminary investigations indicated that they were being trafficked to Europe before their interception.
Emerole stated that the victims consist of 19 males and two females whose ages range between 16 and 37 years.
He said that the victims were from Edo, Imo, Nasarawa, Kogi and Delta states.
He explained that other victims that the Nigeria Immigration Service handed over to NAPTIP were intercepted at Kwado village in Katsina State on their way to Morocco via Niger Republic.
He added that the group comprised 12 females and 10 males from Delta, River, Edo, Abia, Imo and Kogi States and were within the age bracket of eight to 38 years.
Emerole quoted the Director-General of NAPTIP, Ms Julie Okah-Donli, commending operatives of agency and the Nigeria Immigration Service in the affected states for a job well done.
Okah-Donli described human trafficking as a crime against humanity and God.
She directed NAPTIP operatives to do everything possible to track down the traffickers involved the current development. (NAN)