Molly Kilete and Okwe Obi, Abuja

President Muhammadu Buhari, on Monday, said his administration has, so far, convicted 359 persons involved in human trafficking and smuggling of migrants into the country.

President Buhari, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Special Services in the Office of Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Adekunle Adeyemi, stated this at the 6th Interpol global conference on human trafficking and migrants smuggling, in Abuja.

As part of his administration’s contribution to stem the tide, he pledged to donate a plot of land to Interpol to build its strategic study centre and deepened collaboration with the United Nations, Interpol and other well-meaning organisations.

“Our collaborative efforts of our relevant security forces in the fight against trafficking in persons has resulted in several interventions and arrest of traffickers which resulted in 359 convictions over time.

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“This administration strongly  believes that there is success in the fight against trafficking in persons, smuggling of migrants and the fight against corruption which the country is winning the war.

“I hereby urge the Interpol and relevant agencies to deepened the already collaboration in order to combat this modern day slavery.

“I seize this opportunity to urge Interpol to consider Abuja, Nigeria as a perfect location for its proposed strategic study centre.”

Speaking earlier, INTERPOL’s Secretary General, Jürgen Stock, decried the high rate of trafficking, not only in Africa but in Asia and America.

According to Stock, “This opens the door for the exploitation of those simply seeking improved well-being and opportunities. Others simply don’t have a choice; shuffled around like commodities from one country to the next; and one market to the next.”