The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) in Anambra on Tuesday evening arrested a suspected human trafficker and rescued five suspected victims.
The corps’s Head of Operations in the state, Mr Anthony Ogbodo, told newsmen in Awka on Wednesday that the suspect, a 36-year-old driver, was arrested on Onitsha-Awka Expressway.
According to him, the suspect was arrested by an FRSC patrol team led by Mr Ugochukwu Ogbonna.
Ogbodo said that the team made the arrest when it stopped a black Nissan Primera, with registration number BEN468HP, for seat belt violation.
“Our patrol team earlier set out to book the driver for seat belt violation; on close inspection, it noticed five girls inside the vehicle; this raised its suspicion.
“The vehicle was impounded and taken to the commission’s office.
“We interviewed the driver who claimed he was taking the girls to work as house helps and farmers in their family farmland in Benin.
“The victims, who said they were from Vande Ikya in Benue, told us they were going to Benin to sell pepper soup and beer in a beer parlour,” he said.
Ogbodo said that the case was reported to FRSC headquarters which directed the state sector command to alert the National Agency for Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) in Anambra for further investigations.
While receiving the impounded vehicle, the suspect and the victims, Mrs Judith-Chukwu Ibadin, the Commander of NAPTIP in Anambra, said the agency would begin investigations into the case without delay.
“The suspect and victims are going to be in our custody pending when we conclude investigations.
“I am sure there may be other suspects because this is a syndicate.
“We are going to interview both the victims and the suspect.
“If there are more, we make further arrests. They will be prosecuted and if found guilty, the court will pronounce judgment, “she said.