A GROUP of children being trafficked to Russia have been rescued, according to a Nigerian government agency.
The Nigerian authorities say that nine girls and one boy who were taken to the Russian capital of Moscow have been saved from traffickers.
The five people believed to be linked with the trafficking have been arrested for facilitating the travel of the children. Among the five suspects is a policeman and a quarantine officer.
Football supporter ID cards were found in the children’s possession. They had been given to the victims to make them look as though they were in Moscow for the World Cup which starts on June 14.
Julia Siluyanova of Russian anti-slavery group Alternativa, told Reuters: “We discovered that about 30 victims (Nigerian women) were brought to the Confederations Cup in Moscow last year … we expect to face the same problem during the World Cup this year.”
According to the Nigerian government agency tackling trafficking, human trafficking gangs have been encouraging young Nigerians and their families to use the World Cup as an opportunity to travel to Russia and obtain Russian visas.
Nigerians have been warned against travelling to Russia with trafficking gangs as the likely result is that they will end up exploited.
In recent years, women and girls have arrived in Russia and other European countries from Nigeria in the hope of finding well-paid work but have instead ended up as victims of modern slavery and debt.
Nigeria is the fourth largest source of human trafficking to the UK.