The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) says it will work in partnership with Italian security authorities to ensure effective fight against human trafficking.
In a statement issued on Sunday in Abuja, Mr Josiah Emerole, NAPTIP’s Press and Public Relations Officer, said human traffickers’ activities would be tremendously curtailed with the collaboration.
He explained that security authorities in Italy had also agreed to collaborate more effectively in curbing human trafficking from Nigeria to Italy, following a strategic meeting held in Italy recently.
He said the collaboration was preceded by setting up a delegation from NAPTIP led by its Director-General Julie Okah-Donli and officials of various law enforcement agencies in Italy.
He stated that the delegation, thereafter, met with the Head of the Italian Anti-Mafia and Terrorism Department, officials of the Public Safety Department and the Italian Police on effective collaboration in that regard.
“The meeting discussed the possibilities of using criminal evidences in Italy to prosecute criminal gangs of Nigerian origin when they are brought back home.
“One of the resolutions is the proper utilisation of all existing global, mutual or bilateral conventions and protocols on combating trafficking in persons in curbing further trafficking of young persons from Nigeria to Italy,’’ the statement quoted Emerole as saying.
He said Okah-Donli stressed the need for the Italian authorities and other European countries to show more commitment in the fight against human trafficking by arresting and prosecuting their own nationals involved in trafficking.
“We are trying our best in prosecuting our own people, but the fight looks one sided as we do not hear much of the prosecution of your own people who are involved.
“Nigerians cannot successfully exploit the victims of trafficking here without effective connivance and collaboration from your people,’’ he quoted Okah-Donli as saying.
He said the director-general also suggested joint operations and investigations by operatives in Nigeria and Italy including the deployment of NAPTIP operatives to selected Italian airports, sea and border posts to help in identification and profiling of Nigerian victims and traffickers.(NAN)