July 22, 2024

NAPTIP secures conviction of 52 persons, rescues 1,444 in 2021

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Ini Billie, Uyo

The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), Uyo Zonal Command, Akwa Ibom has secured the conviction of 52 persons in the zone.

The Zonal Commander of the agency, Mrs Tina Ugwu, while speaking with newsmen in Uyo on Thursday, said that NAPTIP also rescued 1,444 trafficked victims within the zone in 2021.

According to him, the agency stated that 723 of the victims were from Akwa Ibom State, 413 from Cross River State, while 282 and 16 were from Bayelsa and Rivers states, respectively.

Ugwu noted that within the period, NAPTIP had investigated over 568 of the 1,035 cases received, while 11 of the 52 convicted traffickers were still in court.

“The command received 1,035 cases with 1,035 suspects and investigated over 568 cases. It convicted about 52 traffickers in the zone with 11 cases still in court at different levels of prosecution.

“Since my assumption from the beginning of March, the command has had about 17 cases. We have about 10 of them under investigation and three that are fully investigated.

“We have about three cases with our legal elite which are going to be filed today and tomorrow,” she stated.

The Zonal Commander decried the high incidences of sale of babies in Akwa Ibom, saying the agency has intensified efforts to apprehend perpetrators of the crime.

She said the practice was fueled by the illegal activities of many Traditional Birth Attendants and warned that the agency would not spare any of them found culpable.

She stated that collaboration with sister agencies and the Ministry of Women Affairs in the state have been helpful in checking cases of trafficking and the sale of babies.

She said that the presence of sister agencies at the borders has produced outstanding results as most of the cases handled by the agency are transferred from them.

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