7 Women who were pretending to be blind were caught with no fewer than twenty–two children believed to be from the Southeastern states of Anambra, Imo, Abia and Ebonyi.
The children were rescued from the suspected child traffickers in the oil rich city of Warri, Delta State.
The victims were allegedly being exploited through street begging by the seven suspected women who allegedly faked blindness while in Warri.
Officials of the state Ministry of Women Affairs, Community and Social Development made the breakthrough.
Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Mrs. Kevbe Agas, told journalists in Asaba that the suspects allegedly deceived the parents of the children that they were coming to Delta for educational pursuit.
She said the victims and the suspects would be handed over to the state police command.
Saying that the suspects would be prosecuted in accordance with the state Child Rights Act, Mrs. Agas noted that deliberate efforts would be made to re-unite the victims with their respective families through their state governments.
“FIDA drew our attention to the fact that there were some children on Airport Road, Warri, begging, and that three of them went specifically to a lady that sells close by who told them that some women brought them to Warri to beg, but that they actually told their parents that they were bringing them to school.
“And since they came to Warri, they have been begging and sleeping on the streets. In addition to FIDA, our officers went to the police and we got the police to arrest them.
“We rescued 22 children and arrested seven women who feigned blindness. Upon investigation, we discovered that the women were not even blind but were just feigning it and using the children to beg on the streets.
“So we brought them to Asaba and we are taking them to the police headquarters. We are going re-unite the children with their families in their respective states. The children are from Anambra, Ebonyi, Imo and Abia states, that is what we have been able to establish.
“The women would be prosecuted because there is a Child Right Law in Delta State that prohibits begging and exploitation of children. Even NAPTIP would be involved in this because it has to do with trafficking,” Agas said.