The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons and other related matters raised the alarm on Monday that some human trafficking syndicates were planning to use the Russia 2018 World Cup to traffic Nigerians.
The NAPTIP Director-General, Julie Okah-Donli said at a briefing in Abuja the agency had written the ministry of sports and the NFF on the development.
The DG said Russia is one of the countries where many trafficked Nigerians are stranded and seeking assistance to return home.
She said, “It has come to the knowledge of the agency that some dishonest persons and networks of human traffickers have concluded plans to use the forthcoming World Cup to recruit and traffic Nigerian youths out of the country.
“Their plot is to set up unregistered football supporters’ clubs, unofficial government delegations as well as unrecognised youth bodies to collect huge money from desperate youths and ferry them out of the country in the name of the World Cup.
“A case is a girl from the South-South who has been contacted by a Moscow-based trafficker that she would be airlifted on June 5 and should pay a huge sum of money. Our operatives in Moscow are closing in on the suspect. Russia is one of places with high incidence of human trafficking and many Nigerian victims are held up and seeking assistance to return home.
“We have already made efforts to reach the Minister of Sports and Youth Development (Solomon Dalung) and we plan to ensure a World Cup free of human trafficking of Nigerian nationals.”
The NAPTIP chief called on the NFF to ensure that only accredited delegates and officials make the Russian contingent.
The agency also raised the alarm on the proliferation of fake orphanages in Abuja, Lagos, Rivers and across the country where secret sale of babies were ongoing.
“We urge the government departments to review the laws that permit floating of orphanages by people of questionable character. We wish to alert the state ministries of Women Affairs and departments of gender to attend to the upsurge of these orphanages, which specialise in the outright sale of babies,” Okah-Donli said.