NIS Cracks Down on Human Trafficking, Arrests 522 in 2023


The Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS), led by Comptroller General Caroline Adepoju, has announced the arrest of 522 individuals involved in human trafficking this year.

This was disclosed during a press briefing in Abuja, ahead of International Migrants Day commemorated on December 18.

The NIS has handed over the apprehended traffickers and their victims to the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons.

Mrs. Adepoju highlighted the gravity of migrant smuggling as a severe transnational crime that challenges governments globally.

She pointed out that Nigeria is often exploited by traffickers as a point of origin, transit, and destination for migrants.

The Comptroller General expressed that such illicit activities not only endanger vulnerable people but also threaten the sovereignty and security of national borders.

The International Migrants Day serves as a call to action to prevent and fight this crime, protect migrants, and tackle the underlying factors that fuel human smuggling networks.

Mrs. Adepoju emphasized the collective responsibility to address migrant smuggling, which infringes on human rights and exposes individuals to potential exploitation, abuse, and death.

The NIS is dedicated to a comprehensive strategy that includes prevention, enforcement, and international collaboration to combat this issue.

Preventive measures are key, according to Mrs. Adepoju, who stressed the importance of awareness about the perils of irregular migration and the deceptive practices employed by traffickers. NIS personnel are actively involved in identifying, investigating, and prosecuting those engaged in migrant smuggling.

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To bolster border security, the NIS has implemented advanced technologies, including biometric identification systems, surveillance cameras at strategic borders, and an advanced passenger information system to prevent migrant smuggling across Nigeria’s borders.

International cooperation is crucial in addressing the transnational nature of migrant smuggling.

The service is working with regional and international partners to exchange information, intelligence, and best practices to combat this crime.

Mrs. Adepoju called on stakeholders, including government agencies, civil society organizations, the private sector, and the media, to join the fight against human trafficking.

She urged a united front to protect migrants’ rights and maintain the integrity of borders.

The NIS will conduct a week-long series of activities, including officer sensitization, presentations, and a medical outreach at Sauka primary school, to further these efforts.