NIS Stops Suspect From Trafficking Two Underage Girls
The Nigeria Immigration Service has arrested a suspected human trafficker who was planning to take two underage girls out of the country.
The arrest was made at the service’s Alimosho Passport Front Office in Lagos State.
PUNCH Metro gathered that the female suspect who was allegedly working for a trafficking ring took the girls to the passport office claiming they were her daughters who needed the passports to travel out.
It was learnt that the immigration officers, however, detected that the woman’s age gap and the ages of the two girls did not match her claim that she gave birth to the teenage girls.
The suspect, after being probed, was said to have admitted that the girls were recruited for trafficking abroad, for commercial exploitation.
The Passport Control Officer, Mrs Ayoola Malaolu, while confirming the arrest said several human traffickers who came to the Alimoso NIS Passport Front Office, had been apprehended upon being detected that they came to obtain passports for unlawful purposes.
She commended the officers for their professionalism and dedication to duty, assuring stakeholders that her team would continue to work professionally and stop traffickers and others with criminal intentions from getting travel documents with which they can perpetrate their evil work.
Malaolu appealed to passports applicants to always go through the online application process and payment platform, as well as to exercise patience and follow the queue, assuring them that they would be attended to.
Sources at the NIS revealed that many suspected human traffickers had been apprehended at the Alimosho Passport Front Office since it commenced operation on January 30.
According to the sources, the traffickers may have wrongly assumed that they can have their way easily because the front office is new.
An official, who did not want his name in print because he is not the spokesperson, said, “It seems traffickers think because this passport office is new, they will have it easy. It is not possible here as we scrutinise every form and ensure due diligence.
“We have had instances where people wanted to procure passports for adopted children to take them overseas. Those who have legal documents of adoption were directed to Abuja because only the Comptroller General of Immigration has the final say on such issues.
“For those who did illegal adoptions, they came posing that the babies were their biological kids but were uncovered by our diligent officers. When certain documents were required from them, some of them didn’t come back.”