A 45-year-old child trafficker, Alimot Haruna, has allegedly confessed to smuggling 42 northern children into Lagos without their parent’s consent in the last 5 years, to sell them into child labour.

The suspect was arrested on Thursday, Jan 25, by a team of policemen from Ijora Badia Police Station of the Lagos Police Command.

It was learnt that the suspect, whose operational base is in Ilorin, Kwara state capital, had been on the police wanted list over similar crimes.

The suspect in her confessional statement said she operates from her base in Molete village in Kwara.

She said: “I have sold over 42 children to different clients in the past. Most of my clients are based in Lagos.

“My target is children between the ages of 7 and 12 years. I bring the children to Lagos for child labour.”

Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, Benjamin Hundeyin, who confirmed the arrest, said three underaged children have been rescued from the suspect.

Hundeyin said the suspect who is the leader of a child trafficking syndicate was finally arrested after three months of discrete investigation.

He said the command had been on the trail of the syndicate since it got information about its activities.

He said: “On January 25, 2023, at about 5.45pm, the leader of the syndicate one Alimot Haruna of Molete village in Ilorin, Kwara state, was apprehended by detectives monitoring her movement. In the process, three under-aged children, two female and one male whose names could not be ascertained, ages 12 and 7 of no fixed addresses were rescued from her.

“During interrogation, the suspect confessed to the crime. Preliminary investigation revealed that the suspect had illegally brought over 42 children to Lagos for child labour without the consent of their parents.

“It was also revealed that the suspect had been declared wanted by the Kwara State Police Command in connection to the disappearance of many under-aged children. All the disappeared children had been linked to her syndicate by the Anti-Humab Trafficking unit of Kwara State Police Command.

“When contacted the Kwara State Police Command confirmed that they had recovered some of the children. However, about 11 others could not be accounted for. When interrogated, the suspect mentioned places where she kept the other children

“When the current custodians were contacted, they admitted that the children are in their custody. Efforts are on to rescue them while awaiting the arrival of the Anti-Trafficking unit of Kwara State Command to harmonize the case.

“Meanwhile efforts are on to rescue the remaining eight children.”