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Europe and Africa to assert stiffer immigration sanctions
By Giselle Borg Olivier
May 27, 2006, 09:30 CET

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Comptroller-General of Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), Mr Chukwura Udeh, has said that the recent meeting between the European countries of France, Spain, Malta, Greece and Portugal and the Magreb countries of Morocco, Mauritania, Tunisia, Algeria and Libya was to ensure that activities of illegal immigrants are checked, stated news reports from

In the past week about 50 illegal immigrants were brought ashore in two separate cases after they were spotted aboard stranded dinghies. The occupants of the vessels all came from North Africa and needed health assistance.

Udeh's call warned that the measure was to make it impossible for immigrants to cross into Europe. It was held in context of the arrest of a middle-aged woman, Mrs. Dele Oginni, alongside three young girls, whilst crossing the border to Niger Republic on the pretence of visiting a sister. It was discovered that the woman was a regular user of Kano-Zinder-Agadez-Duruke-Gadron route after a passport was found.

Other documents included agreements signed by three other young Nigerian victims resident in Libya, and witnessed by some members of the Nigerian Community in Libya, whereby the victims would pay their madam an agreed sum of money and then be resold for $1,500 each. The NIS found a letter on the suspect allegedly from the parents of a victim of human trafficking rebuking her for her failure or inability to pay a procurer the sum of money that was agreed upon. According to the letter, her failure to effect payment would result in her death by the Ayilala Spiritual Shrine, which she had earlier sworn to.

"She was also ordered to send money to Nigeria for the payment of services provided by a native doctor in Kano and a woman who prayed for her in the church before her journey to Libya. Her parents also reminded her that she did not travel to Libya to have free sex and should send money to them like her sister, Roseline in Spain does", the statement stressed.

Udeh warned youngsters, who may be lured into embarking on fruitless travelling into Europe, as this has led Nigerian immigrants stranded and subsequently begging in the streets of Libya and Morocco. He also stated that the issue of human trafficking would top the agenda of the forthcoming Heads of Immigration of the West African Sub-region Summit.

Read more about this issue on MaltaMedia's special feature:
Lanċa Ġejja u Oħra Sejra: Malta and its migrations.


© Copyright 2006 - MaltaMedia Online Network

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