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Rivers police raid brothels as underage prostitution booms

The Rivers State Police Command on Monday said its operatives rescued three underage girls and arrested three male suspects during a raid on a brothel on Azikiwe Street, Mile Two, Diobu, Port Harcourt, the state capital.

PUNCH Metro gathered that policemen from Rumuolumeni alerted the Azikiwe Police Division following a complaint from a relative of one of the underage girls, who was forced into prostitution.

This was said to have led to the raid.

Our correspondent learnt that some of the madams in charge of the girls attempted to secure their release, but the state Commissioner of Police, Friday Eboka, insisted on prosecuting the matter.

Speaking on the incident, the Chairman of the Centre for Basic Rights Protection and Accountability Campaign, IK Alexander, called on the police to work with the National Agency for Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons to ensure proper prosecution of arrested suspects.

He said, “Our team visited the area raided by the police and observed that the ‘mamas’ got information that the police were returning to raid other brothels and started moving their teenage girls into buses, which zoomed off immediately to an unknown destination.

“We call for a detailed investigation and proper prosecution of the matter. We will monitor progress until justice is served.”

Alexander said the rate of underage prostitution in the state was alarming and called for regular surveillance of brothels across the state.

Meanwhile, a resident, Peter Okosa, said sexual exploitation was thriving because the madams forced their victims to take oaths of secrecy.

He said, “It is alarming that the older sex workers who are no longer attractive to their customers go to villages to bring these girls between the ages of 13 and 16, deceiving their parents that they wanted to teach them business.

“Older commercial sex workers, referred to as madams, collect between N500 to N1,000 for short time for each of these girls. It is expected that the girls must meet up the target of N20,000 daily and failure to do so will attract beating from their madams.”

The spokesperson for the state police command, Grace Iringe-Koko, confirmed the incident.

She said, “Yes, our men raided the brothels.”

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