Posted by News Express | 4 August 2016 | 1,976 times
The police in Bayelsa State have intercepted two vehicles conveying 12 children to the state for alleged child labour and child trafficking.
The two vehicles were from Akwa Ibom State and the children comprised nine giels and three boys aged between five and 17 years.
Parading them at the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department (SCIID), Yenagoa, on Monday, Asinim Butswat, the Police Public Relations Officer, said they were arrested on Sunday during a routine stop-and-search operation along the Glory Land Drive.
“When they were interrogated, they could not tell where they were going. They said their parents were here in Bayelsa, but till now none of their relatives has come to claim them.” He gave the identities of the prime suspects and drivers of the two cars as Inemesi Koffi and Geoffrey Ezekiel, both from Akwa Ibom State.
The police suspect a case of child labour or child trafficking; since the children were young and state say their destination.
They have been handed over to the Social Welfare Department of the Ministry of Women Affairs while investigation continues.
However in an interview with Independent, Koffi, a commercial transport operator in Bayelsa, claimed that the parents and guardians of the children asked him to help transport them to Yenagoa to spend holidays with them.
Koffi claimed that he was in his village, Nkana, Etinan LGA for a burial when the children’s parents contacted him and sought assistance.
He said some of the children’s parents were vegetable sellers at the Swali Market and operators of restaurants in Yenagoa. (Independent)
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