Tobore Ovuorie's exposure of the criminal syndicates that smuggle sex workers
By Tobore Ovuorie
Courageous undercover work by award winning Nigerian investigative reporter Tobore Ovuorie, in partnership with her colleague Reece Adanwenon in Benin and in close cooperation with the Premium Times and ZAM Chronicle, has unearthed the activities of human traffickers who recruit sex workers in Nigeria. Among the shocking findings is the reality that traffickers' recruits do not only surrender their freedom to their 'benefactors', but also risk getting murdered for their organs.
Other findings are:
1. The war on human traffic in Nigeria has further criminalised sex work, which in turn has driven sex workers and willing migrants into more dependency on ruthless mafias;
2. The criminal syndicates have merged to combine drug traffic, human traffic and organ traffic;
3. Some Nigerian embassies are infiltrated by the syndicates and do nothing to help citizens who find themselves trapped in foreign countries;
4. Nigerian security forces like police, army and customs are also infiltrated by the syndicates and transports are waved through at the border.
Read Ovuorie's full report here.
Member of the Green Left delegation in the European Parliament, Judith Sargentini, when made aware of the findings, announced that she will ask formal questions about possible misuse of European funds extended to Nigerian authorities to combat human traffic.
International publication of findings
The joint Premium Times and ZAM Chronicle story will be published by ZAM Chronicle (Amsterdam, Netherlands), Premium Times (Abuja, Nigeria), La Relance and L'Humanite in Benin and City Press (South Africa), whilst the investigative magazine Mo* in Belgium will carry an interview with Ovuorie. Several other media in ZAM’s home base in the Netherlands have also shown interest.
The dossier, containing Ovuorie's undercover report 'The next level' and Adanwenon's account of events in Benin, where Ovuorie was extracted after crossing the Nigerian border, is expected to encourage much needed debate with respect to the global fight against human traffic.
ZAM Chronicle has also decided to dedicate its customary editorial and its columns to the subject of the dossier. An interview with Judith Sargentini, in which she states her view that increased border controls and criminalisation of sex work in Europe will only serve to hurt victims of human traffic even further, is published in this month's 'Contrarian'.