By ANAYO OKOLI
UMUAHIA— OPERATIVES of Abia State Vigilante Service, AVS, popularly known as Bakassi Boys, has smashed a human trafficking syndicate operating in Obingwa, Aba, Osisioma, Ugwunagbo and Isialangwa Local Government Areas of Abia State.
A seven-year-old girl, Miss Chinyere Chibuzor, abducted since March from Amapuife village, Osisioma council area, by two male members of the gang on a motorcycle, and awaiting to be sold, was rescued.
The vigilante outfit also arrested five members of the gang, three women and two men. They include Obinna Abel, Chimuanya Nwaobilor, Amaka Okafor, Queen Udoka, a pregnant woman and mother of four, as well as Freedom Madu.
According to the Commander-General of the vigilante outfit, Mr. Matins Idika, his men got the report of the missing child since March and had been working to track down the abductors till last week when all of them were rounded up following the arrest of the two male members of the syndicate.
Little Chinyere Chibuzor, according to her mother, Ihuoma, was allegedly abducted by Obinna and Chimuanya, when she sent her on errand with her 12-year- old elder sister, Blessing at about 7 pm.
Idika explained that the AVS started trailing the whereabout of the child until May 16, 2012, when his unit located at Uratta Timber Market reported that one alias Iyierioba reported that a baby was brought to her to be sold for N180, 000.
According to the AVS boss, his men played along with Iyierioba, who later turned out to be a member of the syndicate, till they got hold of the three women in the gang.
Idika said the suspects tried to legitimize the sale of the child in form of adoption to no avail before they were arrested.
The syndicate was said to have contacted a buyer based in Port Harcourt who had agreed to pay N.5 million, explaining that the girl would have been sold, but because the deal was struck during weekend and he had asked them to wait till working days.
But luck ran against them as they were rounded up before the appointed day.
Idika said the suspects would be handed over to the police for further investigation and possible prosecution.
SOURCE: Vanguard Nigeria