The Nigeria Immigration Service, NIS, has reported the arrest of 12 individuals involved in smuggling operations in 2023.
The apprehended suspects were responsible for the trafficking of 522 victims, who have now been handed over to the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP).
The Comptroller General of Immigration, Caroline Wuraola-Adepoju, made this disclosure during a forum in Abuja, marking the commencement of activities leading up to the commemoration of World Migrants Day on December 18.
Wuraola-Adepoju emphasized the NIS’s commitment to combating migrant smuggling through a comprehensive approach involving prevention, enforcement, and international cooperation.
She highlighted the importance of preventive efforts in addressing the root causes of migrant smuggling, stressing the need for public awareness about the risks associated with irregular migration.
“Enforcement is equally important in disrupting the activities of migrant smugglers and holding them accountable for their criminal actions.” Wuraola-Adepoju stated.
She shared statistics for the year, revealing that 12 suspected migrant smugglers had been arrested, 208 objects of migrant smuggling had been repatriated or reunited, and 522 suspected traffickers/victims of Trafficking in Persons (TIP) had been handed over to NAPTIP.
The NIS has implemented various measures to enhance border security, including the use of biometric identifications, surveillance cameras at key borders, and the Advanced Passenger Information System (APIS) to deter migrant smuggling.
The Service is actively engaged in collaborative initiatives with regional and international partners to share information, intelligence, and best practices in combating this transnational crime.
The opening ceremony of World Migrants Day is scheduled for Thursday, December 14, with subsequent activities, including presentations, medical outreach, and corporate social responsibility events in different locations.
In a related development, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) has recognized the Director-General of NAPTIP, leading to her appointment to the UNODC Board of Trustees