The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) has said that no fewer than 368 persons have been imprisoned for trafficking offences from inception of the agency in 2004 till date.
The agency’s Director-General, Ms Julie Okah-Donle, made the revelation during the organisation’s meeting with Police Liaison Officers of various Embassies in Nigeria on Thursday in Abuja.
The Director General who was represented by the Director, Legal and Prosecution Department of NAPTIP Mr Opotu Abdulraheem, said the meeting was convened to share information and intelligence on how victims can be rescued, increase the number of arrest of traffickers, prosecute the criminals and have them jailed.
She said that the agency had convicted 52 traffickers from the commencement of the collaborative meetings with the embassies from December last year to date.
According to her, the main thrust of the interactive meeting is to see how the countries can further cooperate to better combat the issues of human trafficking being a global problem.
“There has been remarkable improvement on the number of arrest and prosecution between December last year and date since we commenced this partnership. At least 52 convictions have been made.
“So the essence of the meeting is for us to reassess our activities within the past one year and really bench mark our progress where we believe we can better improve in our coordination activities.
“It has been partnership in progress because they have been cooperating, a lot of embassies have referred number of cases to us,” she said.
Mrs Angela Agbayekhai, Head of Intelligence and International Cooperation Unit of the agency, specifically identified area of collaboration with the embassies as intelligence.
She described the fight against human trafficking as clandestine, adding that it is a huge challenge.
According to her, it is not just happening in one country, for every crime that is carried out there is always another party in other destination countries, hence the collaboration.
“We really want to collaborate with them because when you carry out an arrest in one country the other country is still free, there is still that tendency that the country where the other trafficker has not been apprehended will continue the business.
“So we want that collaboration from both ends so that when we are making an arrest in Nigeria we are also making such in Italy so that both ends can be covered.
“Though we know that they have being doing a lot but we want them to improve on it,” Agbayekhai said.