An 18-year-old girl, Elo Etim, who was rescued by operatives of the Rapid Response Squad [RRS] of the Lagos State Police Command as she was being taken to Ivory Coast for prostitution says she got the full backing of her mother.
Punch reports that Etim and another sex slave victim, Frances Bamidele, 19, were allegedly recruited in Edo State by one Martha Edea, a 30-year-old mother of two from Ogoja in Cross River State, who practiced as a prostitute in Abidjan, the capital of the French-speaking West African country but were rescued after someone reported them to the RRS operatives at Ojodu Berger.
During interrogation, Etim was reported to have said:
“I knew that Madam Martha was taking us to Abidjan for prostitution and my mother was fully aware of the work too.
She even gave me money and said instead of giving it free to boys on the streets, I should go and make money with my body and send her money.
My mother even prayed for me to succeed in the work and was in full support.”
The Madam who recruited the girls who also confessed during interrogation said she was also a sex slave after one Mariam took her to Abidjan with the promise of getting her a job only to be forced into prostitution.
Edea said she was later introduced to sex work where she slaved for months to raise 300,000 Cefa [N180, 000] for her madam who later abandoned her and traveled to Spain.
She said when she became stranded, she had to embark on recruiting young girls whom she would introduce to the sex trade as that was the only way she could make money.
During a search on her, the RRS operatives found a creamy substance with her which she said was a specially prepared charm for her to get more customers when she gets to Abidjan.
“I prepared two charms for the trip. One is a cream to make me see work or get customers. Everybody dey use am. My friend recommended it to me. The other is ‘back to sender’. I bought that in an open market in Benin.”
Narrating how she was trafficked to Abidjan, the single mother said:
“It was Mariam who took me to Abidjan with the promise of helping me secure a good job but when I got there, she introduced me to prostitution. I had to struggle to pay her 300,000 Cefas.
Immediately I paid her, I was left with nothing. I struggled to raise some money to come back home to raise my own team because you can only survive when you have girls working for you.”
The suspects have since been handed over to the National Agency for Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons [NAPTIP].
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