Officers of the Lagos State Command of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) have arrested a Lebanese who allegedly trafficked a mother of three to Lebanon after promising her a monthly salary of $2,000.
The victim simply identified as Olayide said the suspect told her that she was going to Lebanon to take care of his aged mother.
The 34-year-old woman, however, said she was repeatedly sexually harassed by her employer’s grown sons and moved from one job to another.
She alleged that she was often left with no food and only allowed to eat leftovers or tea and bread.
She said she had only worked for four months when she realised she would die if she did not leave.
Olayide said the money promised her was never paid.
When she was leaving Lebanon, Olayide said she was given $600 for the four months she had worked for the suspect at the Nigerian Embassy.
The victim, who was trafficked out of Nigeria in October, returned on February 2.
She said: “I was moved from one job to another. I was moved five times. I was even moved to where I worked as a bricklayer. I worked like a slave in Lebanon. The housemaid work he told me about was a lie. I was not given good food.”
The 54-year-old Lebanese, however, denied the allegations, stressing that he only rendered her assistance to better her life.
Lagos State NAPTIP Commander, Daniel Atokolo, said at the International Organisation for Migrations, Ikeja, Lagos said: “NAPTIP in response to a complaint by the victim’s husband, on January 30, arrested the Lebanese national who is a resident here in Lagos.
“Fact of the case so far reveals that the suspect had trafficked the victim on the pretence of employing her as a caregiver to his aged mother in Lebanon.
“On arrival, the victim was reported to have been received by an agent, who handed her over to a family where she was exploited as a domestic servant.
“When the victim’s husband approached the suspect, asking him to return his wife, the Lebanese national demanded that the victim would only be returned if the family provides another to replace her.”
According to Mr Atokolo, another case NAPTIP was handling is the arrest of two women, Juliet and Chioma, for allegedly selling and buying a day-old-baby belonging to a physically challenged woman.
The baby was said to have been bought for N350,000 from the alleged sister of the mentally unstable woman.
Atokolo said: “The current facts of the case indicate that this is the fifth time this helpless mother would lose her children to the greed of the people and sad situations around her.
“Many might argue that this is possibly in the best interest of the children, but the agency calls on Nigerians to please explore legal means of adoption as purchase or sale of babies is a crime that is punishable by law.
“The illegal avenues also avail unscrupulous elements the opportunity to exploit both helpless young women and their young infants even for ungodly activities such as rituals.”
The 45-year-old suspect, who bought the baby, said she had been married for 10 years without a baby.
She said her friend took her to the sister of the mentally challenged woman who sold the baby to them.