Navy Rescues Teenage Prostitutes In Port Harcourt
Richard Iginla, the base information officer of the Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS) Pathfinder, said three suspected sex traffickers were also arrested during the raid on the brothels.
He said the operation was carried out in collaboration with the Nigeria Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC).
Iginla, who paraded the suspects and rescued victims before newsmen in Port Harcourt on Sunday, said the 50 prostitutes, mainly teenage girls were rescued in the early hours of Saturday after a tip-off from NAPTIP.
“We got the intelligence from NAPTIP, who had been tracking the brothels that camped juveniles, with some of them as young as 14 years of age. So, after NAPTIP shared intelligence with us, a joint team was set up and we immediately went into action to rescue the victims.
“No fewer than 50 young girls forced into prostitution were rescued, while three recruiters and operators of the brothels were arrested,” he said.
Iginla identified the brothels as Royal Brothel and Cool Breeze Brothel, both located on Azikiwe road in Diobu area of Port Harcourt, adding that they had been shut down.
He also said efforts are ongoing to effect the arrest of the leaders of the sex-trafficking ring.
“Children are gifts from God, and we must do everything humanly possible to protect them from all forms of abuse and exploitation,” he said.
“The Nigeria Navy will continue to collaborate with relevant agencies to bring to justice criminal elements that traffic persons either on land or through the waterways.
“On conclusion of our investigation, the suspects and victims will be handed over to NAPTIP for further investigation and possible prosecution.”
Speaking on the development, the head of NAPTIP in Rivers, Nwa-Amaka Ikediashi said the agency would rehabilitate the victims and reintegrate them into the society.
“NAPTIP, as the focal agency mandated to fight all forms of human trafficking and sexual exploitation, will conduct proper investigation, to ensure justice is served,” she said.
One of the girls rescued, who narrated her experience, said she was brought from her village.
She said, “One of my village women brought me and two other girls from our village with the impression that we are coming to serve in a hotel.
“Shortly after we arrived at the hotel, she went outside and collected money from one woman (brothel operator). That was the last time I saw her.
“Later, the woman, simply known as madam, put us in a room and told us that we would work as prostitutes.
“In a day, I sleep with more than 10 men, and whatever money I make, I give it to my madam. We hustle by wearing pants to seduce the men. After admiring what they see, they take us into the room, have sex with us, and give us money.
“We do a daily account of any money we collect to our madam’s sister, who calculates and gives us our cut.”
KanyiDaily had also reported how police rescued 35 teenage girls turned into sex slaves in a hotel used as a baby factory in the Nkpor area of Anambra state.