The Police Command in Lagos State has announced the arrest of a suspected kingpin of a child trafficking and labour syndicate, following three months of intelligence gathering.
The command’s spokesperson, SP Benjamin Hundeyin, confirmed the arrest to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday.
Hundeyin stated that the syndicate typically brought under-aged children from the Northern part of Nigeria to Lagos State for child labour and other illegal activities against children.
He said that on Jan. 25, at about 5.45 p.m., a 45-year-old leader of the syndicate, Alimot Haruna of Molete Village, Ilorin, was arrested by detectives from Ijora Badia Police Division, who had been monitoring her movements.
“In the process, three underaged children, two females and one male, between the ages of 7 and 12 and of no fixed address, were rescued from her.
“During interrogation, the suspect confessed to the crime. Preliminary investigation revealed that the suspect had illegally brought 42 children to Lagos State for child labour without the consent of their parents.
“It was also revealed that the suspect had been declared wanted by the Kwara State Police Command in connection with many underaged children that have disappeared, which have been linked to her syndicate,” he said.
Hundeyin further said that the Kwara State Police Command was contacted and confirmed that they had recovered some of the children, with only 11 remaining.
He added that upon further interrogation, the suspect indicated the locations where she had placed the other children.
“The current custodians were contacted, and they admitted to having the children.
“While awaiting operatives from the Kwara State Police Command Anti-Trafficking Unit to come and harmonise the case, efforts are ongoing to rescue the remaining eight children,” he said.