The Bayelsa State Police Command has confirmed the interception of a suspected child trafficking syndicate along the state entry point along the East-West road, rescuing 12 children.

According to the Police, the Police patrol team intercepted the suspected syndicate in two vehicles convoying 12 children into the state for alleged child labor and child trafficking.

The two vehicles, a Mazda 626 with registration number BC 645 KSF and a Jetta with registration number DX 643 PH  travelled from Akwa Ibom to Bayelsa.

The children included nine females and three males aged between 5 and 17 years.

Parading them at the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department (SCIID), Yenagoa, on Monday, the Police Public Relations Officer, Asinim Butswat, said the suspects were arrested on Sunday during a routine stop and search operation along the Glory Land Drive.

"Policemen, during routine stop and search operation at the Glory Land Drive (in Yenagoa), arrested the two vehicles carrying these children.When they were interrogated, they could not tell where they were going. They said their parents are here in Bayelsa, but till now, none of their relatives have come to claim them," Butswat said.

He gave the identities of the prime suspects and drivers of the two cars as Inemesi Koffi and Geoffrey Ezekiel, both from Akwa Ibom.

He said the police were suspecting a situation of either child labour or child trafficking since the children are very young and cannot say their destination.

Butswat said the children have been handed over to the social welfare department of the state Ministry of Women Affairs while the investigation is ongoing.

However, in an interview, Inemesi Koffi, claimed that the parents and guardians of the children asked him to help carry the children to Yenagoa to spend holidays with them.

 

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