The Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) on Friday in Abuja paraded 13 Chinese nationals who were arrested on suspicion of engaging in prostitution in the country.
NIS spokesman, Joachim Olumba, said the suspects were apprehended in Lagos following a tip off from an informant.
He said the service received a report on the activities of some Chinese nationals who connived with some Nigerians to traffic teenage girls into the country under the pretext of offering them jobs in factories.
A distress call from one of the victims prompted the immigration service to carry out a raid on some operational locations of some of the syndicates.
“Having gathered intelligence information, operatives of the Nigeria Immigration Service swooped on the operational locations of the syndicates at No. 18, 24 and 26B Emena Crescent, Ikeja, Lagos,” he said, “During the operations a total number of 13 Chinese nationals made up of 11 females and two males were arrested.”
He said preliminary investigation confirmed that most of the women were sponsored into the country by some “criminal human traffickers who are currently at large”.
Olumba, however, expressed the regret that the informant who made the distress call that led to the investigation and arrest of the suspects, had yet to be rescued because she did not give a clear description of her location in Lagos.
“It is unfortunate that we have not been able to rescue the lady who called us, because she only provided the number of the house where she is being held, without the name of the street. We want to use this opportunity to solicit for information from the public that will lead to the arrest of the perpetrators of this ignoble business and rescue of our informant,” Olumba said.
In her statement, the NIS Arresting Officer, Chinwe Obi, said the Chinese Embassy in Abuja was in touch with the suspects, and that arrangements were being made to ease them out of the country.
One of the victims, Lu Yui Suan, however, denied allegations that they were arrested for prostitution.
Lu Yui, who spoke through an interpreter, said she came into the country in June, on the invitation of a friend.