- Police rescue victims unhurt as they plead to return to Akwa Ibom.
- Two sets of Twins, three and five months old toddlers are among the rescued.
Edo police command has rescued 19 persons allegedly trafficked to Edo State from Akwa Ibom, Ebonyi and Cross Rivers.
Police were tipped by residents who felt bothered by the sudden influx of children and women at a residential address in Evbuotubu, Benin, Edo State.
Police raided the house and found 19 persons, including women, men and children.
The residents had suspected that the house was used for a baby factory, a common practice by child traffickers who lure stray pregnant women into giving up their kids, which are later sold in a black market.
However, police found out that the women were lured to Edo State for street begging.
Their modus operandi was to report at the Kings square in BENIN CITY daily with the months-old babies to solicit financial help.
In most cases, they usually front the twin children to motivate kind-hearted Nigerians to give them money and other gift items.
The proceeds from the venture are then shared between the women and the trafficker.
The trafficker is now at large.
Speaking with standard Gazette crime correspondent Festus Alenkhe, the victims said, ” The woman told us that federal government is giving free money and jobs to nursing mothers in BENIN and we followed her. But on getting here, she started using us to beg for money”.
Another victim said, “I have never been to BENIN in my life, and the woman usually takes us to where there is a crowd for the people to give us money. I want to go back to my state, Akwa Ibom”.
Edo state commissioner of Police, CP Philip Ogbadu, described the act as barbaric and vowed that the fleeing trafficker would be arrested.
In his words, ” the police can not press charges against these persons as they need rehabilitation now. This matter is not in any way connected to baby factory as some persons reported in the social media”.
“I have ordered that the 19 of them be taken to the police hospital for medical attention while the police will feed them for now. We are going to hand them over to the EDO state ministry of Women Affairs And Social Development for further action”.