"INVESTIGATION: Inside Nigeria's Ruthless Human Trafficking Mafia" - Tobore Ovuorie - Premium Times (Nigeria)

"INVESTIGATION: Inside Nigeria's Ruthless Human Trafficking Mafia" - Tobore Ovuorie - Premium Times (Nigeria)

by: | publication date: January 24, 2014 | Publication: Premium Times (Nigeria) |

"We are 10 at the boot camp: Adesuwa, Isoken, LIzzy, Mairo, Adamu, Ini, Tessy, Omai and I. We have travelled together in a 14 seater bus from Lagos, hoping to arrive in Italy soon. We are eager to get to the 'next level' as it is called: from local prostitution to hopefully earning big bucks abroad. But first, it turns out, we have to pass through 'training' in this massive secluded compound guarded by armed military men, far from any other human being, somewhere in the thick bushes outside Ikorodu, a suburb of Lagos. Our trafficker, Mama Caro, welcomes us in flawless English, telling us how lucky and special we are; then she ushers us to a roomo where we are to sleep on the floor without any dinner.

 

"I had not expected this. We had exercised, through a risk analysis role play, in advance: my paper, Premium Times, and our partners in the project, a colleague-Reece Adanwenon-- in the Republic of Benin, and ZAM Chronicles in Amsterdam. We had put in place contacts, emergency phone numbers, safe houses, emergency money accounts. We had made transport and extraction arrangements. Ms. Reece is waiting in Cotonou, 100 kilometers to the West in neighbouring Benin, to pick me up from an agreed meeting place. But we hadn't foreseen that there was to be another stop first: this isolated, guarded camp in the middle of nowhere. It danws on me that we could be in big trouble."

The Precede: "The Six out of 10 people who are trafficked to the West are Nigerians. Premium Times investigative reporter Toborre Ovuorie was motivated by years of research in to the plight of trafficked women in the country, as well as the loss of a friend, to go undercover in a multibillion dollar criminal enterprise. She emerged, bruised and beaten but thankfully alive, after witnessing orgies, big money deals in jute bags, police supervised pickpocketing, beatings and even murder. This is her story."

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