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NAPTIP, Indian Police arrest foreign based human trafficker

National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), on Monday says its operatives have arrested a notorious foreign-based human trafficker, Joy Shandy-Okah.

The successful operation also led to the rescue of three Nigerian victims of forced prostitution in New Delhi, India.

In a statement, the Head of the International and Intelligence Cooperation Unit of NAPTIP, Mrs Angela Agbayekhai said the success of the operation was made possible with the help of the Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Nigeria High Commission in New Delhi, India; the New Delhi Police as well as activists from the New Delhi based anti-human trafficking organisation known as Vihaan-WMS.

She explains that on the 12th of December last year, the agency received an SOS via email from a Nigerian Minor-17 years old who was deceitfully trafficked from the country for forced prostitution in India.

According to Mrs Agbayekhai, the minor requested the intervention of the NAPTIP for her rescue and that of other Nigerian victims held captive and forced into the sex trade by one Joy ShandyOkah, a Nigerian based in India.

She said NAPTIP worked with the Indian-based NGO, Vihaan-WMS through intelligence sharing, which resulted in the rescue of the three victims and arrest of their trafficker, Joy ShandyOkah, at New Krishina Park, New Delhi – India.

The statement explains that the victims were recruited from Edo, Delta and Rivers States and trafficked to India for sexual exploitation and were forced to pay up a debt of N4.5 Million Naira each to Joy ShandyOkah, until their rescue by NAPTIP.

Reacting to the development, the Director-General of NAPTIP, Dr Fatima Waziri-Azi, said she had directed that all persons linked with the recruitment, harbouring, trafficking and sexual exploitation of the three victims who are based in Nigeria, should be identified, arrested and prosecuted.

Dr Waziri vowed to take appropriate legal steps to ensure that proceeds of the crime of human trafficking were forfeited and used to assuage the pain inflicted on the victims.

Dr Fatima Waziri – Azi, on the assumption of duties last year, had pledged to ensure that high profile human traffickers across the World would be identified, arrested, prosecuted.

In order to realize this mission, the Director-General has embarked on strategic advocacy to expand the pool of the Agency and enhance the operational relationships with critical partners within and outside Nigeria.

Writing by Bose Ijelekhai; Editing by Abdullahi Lamino