More than 200 rescued from human traffickers

Almost 220 victims of human trafficking have been rescued by police in Benin and Nigeria, in an operation coordinated by the International police agency Interpol.

Those affected include 157 children aged between 11 and 16 and the victims were from Benin, Burkina Faso, Niger, Nigeria and Togo.

Many of the rescued minors were moved across the border between Nigeria and Benin as “merchandise” and made to work in markets, or as housemaids, according to Interpol.

Some were the victims of sexual exploitation.

The police found a boy who had been forced to carry bags of rice weighing up to 40kg (88lb) across the border between Nigeria and Benin.

The victims were rescued in the first half of April.

About 100 officers carried out raids and identity checks at markets, air and sea ports, as well as in settlements at the border between Nigeria and Benin.

Some 47 people have been arrested, and their possessions seized.

The operation was part of an Interpol Global Task force, set up to increase international cooperation in combating human trafficking.

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