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NDLEA arrests man transporting 64,000 pump action cartridges, rescues 34 children from traffickers

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The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has intercepted 64,000 pump action cartridges and a new pump action gun in a store at Onitsha in Anambra.

In a statement by its Director of Media and Advocacy, Femi Babafemi, on Friday in Abuja, the agency also rescued 34 children aged between eight to 14 on the Okene-Lokoja Expressway.

The NDLEA spokesperson said the discovery of the ammunition and gun led to the arrest of 34-year-old arms dealer, Donatus Igwebudu.

“Backed by soldiers, the NDLEA operatives stormed the store on Wednesday and moved the arm and ammunition to the agency’s office in Awka,’’ Mr Babafemi said.

On the children, the spokesperson said that they were intercepted by the NDLEA’s operatives on patrol on the Okene-Lokoja Expressway, while they were being trafficked from Ogun state to Abuja.

He said the minors were packed in two commercial busses, a Toyota Sienna and a 12- Seater Mazda, with registration numbers, Lagos LND124FV and Oyo BDJ-683YK respectively.

“The bus drivers confirmed that the kids were handed over to them by a woman at Ijebu Ode to be conveyed to Abuja,” Mr Babafemi said.

According to him, on arrival in the FCT, the woman is to call another bus driver who will convey the children to Riyom in Plateau state.

“It was further revealed that the children were initially trafficked from Plateau state to Ijebu Ode, where they were distributed to different households as domestic servants.

“Some of the children were discovered to have served for two years and their rewards sent to the woman’s agent in Jos,’’ Mr Babafemi said.

He said the NDLEA chairman, Buba Marwa, asked that the 34 trafficked children be transferred to the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) for investigation.

(NAN)