Operatives of the Lagos State Police Command have arrested a suspected kingpin of child trafficking and labour syndicate after three months of intelligence gathering.
The command’s spokesperson, SP Benjamin Hundeyin, confirmed the arrest to the News Agency of Nigeria on Sunday.
Hundeyin said the syndicate usually brought under-aged children from the northern part of Nigeria to Lagos State for child labour and other illegal activities against children.
He said, “On January 25, at about 5.45 pm, a 45-year old leader of the syndicate, one Alimot Haruna of Molete Village, Ilorin, was arrested by detectives from Ijora Badia Police Division, who had monitored her movements.
“In the process, three underaged children, two females and one male, whose names could not be ascertained- between ages 7 and 12, 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.”
Hundeyin further said that the Kwara State Police Command was contacted and confirmed that they had recovered some of the children, remaining only 11.
He added that on further interrogation, the suspect mentioned places she kept the other children.
“Their current custodians were contacted and they admitted having the children.
”While awaiting operatives from Kwara State Police Command Anti-Trafficking Unit to come and harmonise the case, efforts are on to rescue the remaining eight children,” he said.