The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons, NAPTIP warns men and boys to be wary of individuals who try to entice them with job and education opportunities in other countries, but instead end up becoming victims of sexual exploitation.
In an interview with Radio Nigeria in Awka on the occasion of this year’s World Day Against Human Trafficking, the Anambra state commander of the Agency, Mrs. Ibadin Judith-Chukwu, revealed that traffickers are targeting men and boys for sexual exploitation in Asian countries, saying the crime was escalating.
She stated that the’sophistication’ of trafficking was increasing as a direct result of technological progress.
She said, “Men and boys from Anambra here are being trafficked to the Asian countries. They are kept in brothels and older women will come and take them home to satisfy their sexual desire after which they return them to the brothels. Unfortunately, the proceeds go to whoever runs the brothels”.
“Remember, before they left Nigeria, they were promised jobs through travel agents. But when they get there, their passports would be seized and they become vulnerable. They drug their food and water so that they will be able to service as many women as possible. From information we’ve received, a lot of them die in the process,” she regretted.
She expressed her regret at the fact that “from the information we’ve received, a lot of them die in the process.
Responding to the theme for this year, which is “the use and abuse of technology, the Commander described a variety of ways in which human traffickers take advantage of technology to further their illegal businesses.
She explained that they use technology to advertise fake online jobs, and profile potential victims.
“They coerce young women into posting pictures of themselves online, where they are then presented to male users as options from which to choose. Through the use of GPS, they are able to control and monitor their movement with this device. They also have the ability to use technology to blackmail their victims. If you want to expose us, they say, we’ll expose your naked pictures or videos”.
Mrs. Judith-Chukwu emphasized the importance of those working to end human trafficking making the most of the benefits offered by technology, particularly social media, in order to undermine the operations and activities of the suspected criminals.
“When you are investigating cases of human trafficking, you can use technology to track the locations of the suspects and victims. We can also extract open financial investigation through the accounts of the suspects making them to forfeit proceeds of the crime. We can use it to access their bank account details with all legal backing to ascertain financial flows and what they are meant for”.
July 30 is observed as the World Day Against Human Trafficking, to draw attention to the effects that trafficking in persons has on society, to recognize the efforts that various governments are making to eradicate this crime, and to highlight the plights of the victims.
Reporting by Alfred Ajayi; Editing by Saadatu Albashir