The National Agency for Prohibition of Traffic in Persons and other related Matters on Tuesday in Onitsha said it had busted an Awka-based syndicate that specialised in trafficking young girls to Europe.
The agency’s South-East Zonal Commander, Mrs. Nkiruka Michael, made this known at a one-day sensitisation workshop at the Onitsha North Council Secretariat.
She said the agency successfully rescued a 17-year-old girl (name withheld) from Awka, which led to the busting of a trans-Saharan sex, slave and human trafficking ring.
Michael said an Awka-based native doctor and some other accomplices had been arrested in connection with the crime.
She said police, immigration, State Security Service and other agencies had joined in the search for the female leader and chief executive of the syndicate along with her overseas associates.
Michael noted that records and research showed that about 20,000 Nigerian girls engage in commercial sex work in Italy, with 3,000 in the city of Turin alone; and that most of them were from Edo, Delta and some other South-South/South-East states.
She also pointed out that report by TAMPEP, an Italian based non-governmental organisation, stated that about 60 per cent of street prostitutes in Italy were Nigerians, while about 13,000 were stranded in Libya.