The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons, Monday, said since it partnered with the social media giant, Facebook, in September 2021, it has received at least 70,000 reports and cases on online trafficking and sextortion.

NAPTIP’s Director-General, Dr Fatima Waziri-Azi, disclosed this in Abuja at the unveiling of the agency’s plans to commemorate the 2022 World Day Against Human Trafficking.

She noted that the partnership with Meta, has led to the tracking and arrest of online traffickers who use its three major platforms, Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp for their illicit enterprise.

“As much as traffickers operate offline. They now operate online. Because online, there is no geographical boundary. In September last year, we went into partnership with Facebook and the National Centre for Exploited and Missing Children. And we did this because this partnership enables us to enhance tracing and diligent investigation in terms of cases relating to online child abuse, online human trafficking, and it gives us access to thousands of information.

“With that partnership, we now have access to information that is being shared on Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp. And since the commencement of this partnership, we’ve received over 70,000 reports that have to do with online trafficking and also sextortion.

“We’re now investigating our first sextortion case where a young boy used the nude photos of a young lady and was trading with this online. It took us two months for us to track and apprehend him,” she said.

Owing to a worrisome increase in the cases of missing children, the NAPTIP DG revealed that a second partnership with Facebook and the NCMEC will be launched in September 2022 to target the buying and selling of children.

“This partnership launching in September is what we call NAPTIP Alert. It is the second in Africa. The first was in South Africa.

“When a child has been abducted or declared missing, and that abduction is reported to NAPTIP, we now share the information with Facebook. Facebook now releases the photo of the child and the information of the child to the newsfeed of Facebook users within a 160km radius where the child has been declared missing or where the child was last seen,” she explained.

To commemorate the 2022 World Day Against Human Trafficking, Waziri-Azi said NAPTIP would engage in several activities, adding that Vice President Yemi Osinbajo will be the Special Guest of Honour at the Grand Finale scheduled for Monday August 1, 2022, at Ladi Kwali Hall, Abuja Sheraton Hotel and Towers at 10.00am

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