Nige­rian woman jailed in Dubai for hu­man traf­fick­ing flees

The Guardian (Nigeria) - - PANORAMA -

Op­er­a­tives of the Na­tional Agency for the Pro­hi­bi­tion of Traf­fick­ing in Per­sons and other re­lated of­fences have launched a man­hunt for a 33-year-old woman, Perebi Otubo, who was jailed in Dubai, United Arab Emi­rates, for traf­fick­ing Nige­rian girls.

Otubo, who is re­port­edly hid­ing in an uniden­ti­fied lo­ca­tion in Nige­ria, al­legedly be­longed to an in­ter­na­tional syn­di­cate which traf­ficked girls to Dubai and Abu Dhabi cities to work as com­mer­cial sex work­ers.

It was learnt that Otubo, who hails from Bo­madi, Delta State, went into hid­ing in Nige­ria af­ter she re­turned from Dubai in July 2017.

The woman re­port­edly fled when some mem­bers of the syn­di­cate were ar­rested by NAPTIP.

Ac­cord­ing to the Deputy Direc­tor and Head, Press and Pub­lic Re­la­tions, Josiah Eme­role, Otubo’s ac­com­plices were be­ing pros­e­cuted in the court.

In a state­ment on the agency’s web­site, www.naptip.gov.ng, Eme­role said, “Otubo is wanted for hu­man traf­fick­ing. She has been linked to an in­ter­na­tional hu­man traf­fick­ing ring that spe­cialises in traf­fick­ing young girls from Nige­ria to Dubai and Abu Dhabi in UAE for sex­ual ex­ploita­tion.

“She was re­cently jailed in Dubai for hu­man traf­fick­ing. She was re­leased in July 2017 and is cur­rently at large, hid­ing some­where in Nige­ria. Her ac­com­plices and re­cruiters in Nige­ria have been ar­rested by NAPTIP and are cur­rently fac­ing prose­cu­tion in court. We want the pub­lic to as­sist us in lo­cat­ing her.”

Also, the anti-traf­fick­ing agency said it had met with tour op­er­a­tors, travel agents and air­line op­er­a­tors to en­sure that hu­man traf­fick­ers did not in­fil­trate them.

The NAPTIP Direc­tor-gen­eral, Julie Okah-donli, said travel agents must be mindful of the clause in their con­tract agree­ment that trav­ellers shall not “be ex­ploited at their places of des­ti­na­tion.”

Okah-donli noted that the penalty for aid­ing and abet­ting a hu­man traf­ficker, in­ten­tion­ally or un­in­ten­tion­ally upon con­vic­tion, was “a jail term and a fine of not more than N10m.

“Tour op­er­a­tors and travel agents can­not af­ford to pas­sively sit by while hu­man traf­fick­ing is pro­moted through their means of liveli­hood. They must recog­nise the signs of traf­fick­ing and pos­si­ble ex­ploita­tion and how to re­port such cases to us,” she said.

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