Togo cops save 26 trafficked kids

2011-01-26 11:37

Lome - Police in Togo have intercepted 26 minors as they were being trafficked to neighbouring Nigeria for child labour, national television reported on Tuesday.

Police officers late on Monday blocked a lorry carrying the children during a security check at Assrame, about 170km north of the capital Lome, and arrested two suspects - a Togolese and a Nigerian, the report said.

The children - all Togolese - were between 10- and 16-years-old.

They were being taken to work in plantations in Nigeria's southwest Oyo State and allegedly had their parents' consent.

"My father handed me over to these two people (the suspects). He told me to be serious and work hard," one of the children said on television.

Three Togolese child traffickers were in June 2007 sentenced to prison terms of between seven and 24 months for attempting to take a dozen children, including five girls, to Nigeria.

Togo has for several years been considered a centre for child trafficking in the west African region.