Personnel of the Department of State Security Service (DSS) in Cross River State have arrested 59 teenage sex workers.
The teenage sex hawkers were picked up around 2am on Friday night while partying in two different venues, Palsy Hotel and Peace Garden, along the Murtala Mohammed Highway, Calabar.
Those arrested include 43 girls and 16 males, and they were all drunk with alcohol.
According to a 15-year-old teenager, Princess Olivier, who claimed to have been lured into the illicit trade by one “Aunty Favour”, a resident of Calabar South,” A friend of mine deceived me that she was connecting me to sell market for Aunty Favour in Calabar, unknown to me that she was packaging me for prostitution.”
“Aunty Favour and her boyfriend took me to a shrine in Calabar for oath taking, and when we got to the shrine, I refused swearing to the oath.
“Aunty Favour and her boyfriend gave me thorough beating but I insisted that I would not take the oath but I got forced into the business.”
Another 14-year-old girl, from one of the Ibo states, Chinasa Emmanuel, claimed that she got involved in the illicit trade some months ago after she visited Calabar with one of her friends for a religious program in one of the churches in Calabar in December 2018.
Upon her return from the church program to her home state in Igbo land in Eastern Nigeria, she made a U-turn back to Calabar to join other girls in Palsy Hotel where they trade their bodies for cash.
According to her, she pays between N3, 000 and N4, 000 to the brothel owner to enable her stay in the brothel to do her business.
The 42-year-old owner of Palsy Hotel, whose name is Edem John, was also arrested along with the teenage girls.
While speaking with LEADERSHIP Sunday, he claimed that he is an indigene of Ibiono in Akwa Ibom State and the reason he established the joint was for survival instead of getting involved in other shady deals for survival.
However, the Cross River State Director, Department of State Security Service (DSS), Adebayo Ilupeju, confirmed the arrest stressing that the brothels were raided by tip off from some concerned citizens of the state when the citizens complained that the brothels have suddenly become hot spots where teenagers, who are supposed to be in school or learning some trade for the future, are being recruited into the sex trade.
The DSS boss added that the DSS authority in Calabar had already notified the appropriate government agency, National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) to come and take over the matter, adding that what the DSS was interested in is to investigate whether there were kidnappers, armed robbers, etc that breach public peace and tranquility among the suspects for appropriate action.
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