The Police in Benue State have rescued 23 victims of suspected human trafficking while they were being conveyed from Buruku Local Government Area of the state to an unknown destination.
State Commissioner of Police, Fatai Owoseni, yesterday paraded one Prince Masenenger Tar as the suspected trafficker who was conveying the 23 people out of the state in an 18-seater bus belonging to the Benue State Transport Company known as Benue Links.
Owoseni said that a team of policemen on routine patrol intercepted the vehicle, April 1st around the Buruku area on suspicion that the victims who are between the ages of 45 and 12 were being transported illegally for trafficking purposes.
He added that further investigation revealed that the victims were lured by the suspect on promises of providing them with jobs at Kiama in Kwara State but that they were actually going to be taken outside the country to Niger for exploitation.
The police commissioner said that the victims who are kept saved in the command’s custody would be handed over to their parents/guardians while the suspected trafficker will face the law.
The suspect, Tar, however denied that he was trafficking the people for exploitation, saying that, he had a restaurant in Kwara that he wanted the two ladies among the alleged victims to work having settled their parents for their N10, 000 monthly salary while the others were only going to join their relatives living in Kwara state.
In another development, Owoseni at the press briefing in Makurdi confirmed 19 coŵs killed by some miscreants in Agatu LGA of the state contrary to the earlier 53 cattle claimed to have been killed by Myetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN).
He said that since the incident happened on Thursday, last week, the command had been all out to operationalise its peace mechanism in the area so as to forestall break down of law and order while assuring that the culprits would be brought to book.
Owoseni further reiterated his call on all those in possession of illegal firearms to turn them in to the police or else they would be dealt with soon when the police begins its raid on suspected illegal arms bearer in the state.