The National Agency for Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), Benin Zonal Command, says it has rescued about 96 victims of human trafficking in the zone.
Mrs Chidiebere Oruruo-Ifudu, Zonal Commander of the zone, comprising Edo and Delta States, disclosed this in an interview with newsmen in Benin, on Friday.
Oruruo-Ifudu disclosed that the victims were rescued between January and October.
She said that the zone also arrested 79 suspected human traffickers within the period, with the command securing four convictions.
She added that 63 of the rescued victims have been reunited with their families, while the agency empowered 15 victims and reintegrated them into society.
She, however, revealed that the zone had several pending cases in court, adding that within the period under review, the zone treated not less than 117 reported cases.
The zonal commander, while reviewing the agency’s activities in the zone within the period under review, said that there was a renewed zeal to tackle human trafficking in the zone as the year gradually winds up.
“This is because the ills of human trafficking cannot be overemphasised as many innocent Nigerian youths have been lured away by human traffickers under the guise of helping them get abroad.
“The victims either die before they get to their desired destination or become victims of organ harvesting.
She added that the agency had intensified its operations, especially vigilance in the zone because many innocent youths are usually gullible and susceptible to the antics of human traffickers who would come into the states during the yuletide and lure them with promises of greener and a better life abroad.
She disclosed that in view of this, measures have been put in place in the zone for rigorous and effective awareness creation in primary, secondary schools and tertiary institutions.
Oruruo-Ifudu hinted that every form of mass communication strategy would be deployed to push home the message against human trafficking to every resident within the zone.
She noted that the agency in the zone is working and would continue to work in tandem with Dr Fatima Waziri-Hazi, Director General, NAPTIP.
She urged residents to call the agency’s hotline, 09061645732, to report the activities of human traffickers in the zone.