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NAPTIP receives 88 victims of human trafficking from govt of Cote d’Ivoire

The National Agency for Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), on Sunday said it has received 88 rescued victims of human trafficki...


The National Agency for Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), on Sunday said it has received 88 rescued victims of human trafficking from the authorities in Côte d’Ivoire.

Its Director-General, Dr Fatima Waziri disclosed this to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on the sidelines of a meeting at the Second Session of the Nigeria-Cote d’Ivoire Bi-national Commission in Abidjan, on Saturday.

She said 11 of the 17, 000 victims rescued by NAPTIP were Ivorians, while the Ivorian Government had handed over 88 victims to the agency.

Waziri said over the years, Nigeria has enjoyed a lot of collaboration and intelligence sharing with the government of Côte d’Ivoire.

She added that the agency felt it was time to strengthen this partnership by signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), to further deepen the relationship of both countries.

“The agreement covers issues of prevention; enforcement, returning and rehabilitation of victims.

“It also covers issues of repatriation, repatriation of assets connected to issues of trafficking in persons.’’

According to her, NAPTIP’s focus is not just for the conviction of traffickers but to get them to forfeit their assets.

“Because for me, that is what actually sends a message; you can convict somebody, jail the person and the person comes out and still has access to his illicit wealth.

“But once that person is convicted and the person also loses assets connected to a particular crime; that also sends a strong message.’’

She added that aside from Cote d’Ivoire, efforts were underway to formalise such agreements with The Gambia, Niger Republic, Mali, South Africa, among others.

“We have started conversations with The Gambia; I think conversations with The Gambia actually started probably in 2018 or 2019 but we are looking forward to formalizing it.

“The draft MoU is currently being looked at, reviewed by the Federal Ministry of Justice, we also have one with Niger Republic which I believe will be signed this or next month.

“Then; we have one with South Africa that is still in the works, we also have with Mali, ‘’ she added.

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