The Lagos State Police Command says it has arrested an alleged child trafficking and labor syndicate kingpin, after three months of intelligence gathering.
The command’s spokesperson, Benjamin Hundeyin, confirmed the arrest to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday.
Hundeyin said the syndicate usually brought minor children from the northern part of Nigeria to Lagos State to carry out child labor and other illegal activities against children.
He said that on January 25, at about 5:45 pm, a 45-year-old leader of the union, one Alimot Haruna of Molete Village, Ilorin, was arrested by detectives of the Ijora Badia Police Division, who had monitored his movements.
“In the process, three minor children were rescued from her, two women and one man, whose names could not be specified, between 7 and 12 years old, with no fixed address.
“During interrogation, the suspect confessed to the crime. Preliminary investigation revealed that the suspect had illegally brought 42 children to Lagos State for child labor 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 missing minor children, who were linked to her syndicate,” he said.
Hundeyin further said he contacted the Kwara State Police Command and they confirmed that they had recovered some of the children, leaving only 11 remaining.
He said that during subsequent interrogation, the suspect mentioned the places where she kept the other children.
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“Their current custodians were contacted and they admitted to having the children.
“While operatives of the Anti-Trafficking Unit of the Kwara State Police Command are expected to come and frame the case, efforts are being made to rescue the remaining eight children,” he said.