14 Nigerian kids sold by parents for labor, 3 traffickers held

February 20, 2019 | Brainwave Science

SITUATION

The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking In Persons (NAPTIP) has apprehended three suspected human traffickers. In this operation, 14 victims were rescued. The suspects are namely Evelyn Jerry, Stephen Rebecca, and Richard Patrick. They were originally confronted by soldiers who were on duty around Lokoja in Kogi Stae. After a brief interrogation, the suspects were moved to the Nigeria Immigration Service office in Lokoja. The case was eventually transferred to NAPTIP. The suspects were two females and one male. The victims were nine females and five males aged between three and thirteen years. The victims were being transported into an eight-seater vehicle. This was way too small to contain all of them comfortably.

When investigations were carried out, it was discovered that the victims had been picked from a location around Riyom Local Government in Plateau State and were en route to Ekpoma in Edo state when the suspects were arrested. The suspects later confessed that they live in the same locality as the kids being trafficked. Their plan was to take them to make them work as laborers. They said that the parents of the kids are aware of what their kids would be asked to do when they get to Ekpoma. 

In his reaction to the incident, NAPTIP’s Director General, Dame Julie Okah- Donli, acknowledged the efforts and input of the Nigerian Army and Immigration officers who ensured that the case got to the right authorities. She said,  “this is what the National referral mechanism, being put in place by NAPTIP and relevant organizations, aims to achieve. There needs to be a synergy in our collaboration towards the elimination of human trafficking from Nigeria”. The law forbids anyone to use children below the age of 12 as domestic workers. 14 Nigerian kids

CHALLENGE

The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) is a law enforcement agency of the Federal Government of Nigeria, in order to combat human trafficking and other similar human rights violations. The parents of the trafficked children may not be willing to testify against the arrested persons. This may be because, or might have sold the kids into labor due to poverty, or have been forced into giving up their kids because of being indebted. It can also be a plain case of the kids having been kidnapped for trafficking. In this case, the law enforcement agencies must determine if the trio act independently or if this was a part of a racket. Of course, it will be tough and time-consuming to elicit these details from the arrested suspects. Moreover, if they are foot soldiers in the criminal organization then they will not be able to verbally reveal much about it during the interrogation. What is needed is a method to quickly screen suspects and to find out if they possess crime-related information or not. If they are not, then the agencies can avoid wasting time on them. All this should be possible without having the need to coerce the suspect into giving false confessions. A breathalyzer test detects the presence and the level of alcohol in the blood of the testee. Something like this should be able to tell if the suspect knows crime-related details or not. Moreover, the tool should be able to gather information related to the larger organization and its linkages, its history, and its modus operandi.

In the absence of such a tool, these arrested people will have to be interrogated many times. Their friends and family also share a part of the trauma of interrogation, in the sense that they do not know how long an interrogation will last. 14 Nigerian kids

Innocent suspects sometimes must quit their jobs in order to go for repeated interrogation sessions and court hearing. If they are the sole bread-winners, then the family may have to resort to borrowing money or taking up jobs. There is no way to determine how long a case will last. The public will highly appreciate if they have an idea about how many times and for how long, on an average, does a suspect have to be interrogated. There is a need for a one-stop solution in the field of investigation, intelligence gathering and interrogation. The solution, of course, will only be widely adopted if it reduces costs significantly, in order to eclipse the cost of adoption. It should also require lesser manpower and produce results of higher accuracy.

WHY ICOGNATIVE?

Brainwave Science is a company based in Massachusetts, US, has introduced a scientific tool called iCognative. 14 Nigerian kids

This tool quickly and non-invasively tests witnesses and arrested suspects for knowledge of details about a specific crime. There are certain details which the public is not aware of, even though the crime has been discussed in the media. These details can be confidential details such as the exact place and time where the children were kidnapped from, what the children were wearing when they were kidnapped, CCTV images etc. of the children with the traffickers at checkpoints.

These details are used as inputs or stimuli, which comprise images, pictures, words or phrases which are displayed on a screen in succession, to a singular suspect, who wears a headset. Since these details are crime-specific in nature, the real perpetrator or witness will see certain stimuli and instantly recognize them as they were either at the crime scene, or they helped plan the crime and/or helped execute the crime. 14 Nigerian kids

iCognative helps detect concealed information in the brain of the suspects by measuring brain waves. Brainwave Science is an innovative company and has come up with the tool which is miles ahead of all other investigative and interrogative tools. iCognative is in a different league than Polygraph tests, DNA, or fingerprints. This is true for a multitude of reasons. iCognative is objective, in contrast with the rather subject Polygraph test. iCognative is 99+ per cent accurate. It is applicable to 85-90% of all civil and criminal cases. On the other hand, DNA and fingerprinting tests, although very popular, are not applicable, because the evidence is uncovered in merely 1-2% of the cases.

The range of application of this product is wide. It is a revolutionary tool which can help agencies which deal with national security, immigration crimes, counterterrorism, counterintelligenceborder security, human and drug trafficking, insurance fraud, financial fraud, cybercrime, law enforcement etc.

iCognative helps to conduct unbiased and non-invasive criminal investigations.

Most of the costs involved are investigation costs (~80%). The remaining are judicial and law-enforcement costs (~10% each). iCognative can help reduce investigation costs by 60-75%.

Officials will also agree that investigation and interrogation are the most time-consuming phases in any case. This tool marketed by Brainwave Science can be the way in which the Nigerian authorities can eradicate child labour, child torture and other forms of exploitation. This is applicable to every country and crime in the world.

Law enforcement agencies must try out the iCognative technology and see the difference it makes to the lives of the innocent and the guilty. The collaboration system already in place in Nigeria can be supplemented by the database and cloud technologies built into the iCognative system so as to share intelligence and latest developments nationwide, and if needed, abroad.

Main Source: Nigeria Herald

Image Source: Wuzup Naija