Interpol: 157 children rescued from West Africa trafficking ring

More than 150 children — some as young as 11 — were among 220 people rescued from sex and labor trafficking rings in West Africa, Interpol said.

Most of the victims were beaten, subjected to abuses and told they would never see their families again by their traffickers, said Interpol.

They came from West African countries including the Republic of Benin, Burkina Faso, Niger, Nigeria, and Togo.

Local police working with Interpol rescued some of the victims from places where they were forced to become sex workers, and the majority were working as servants in markets in both countries.

One of the children was found wheeling bags of rice weighing up to 40 kilograms between the borders of the Republic of Benin and Nigeria, a spokesman for the agency said.

“Many of the children are shipped actually into these markets to carry out forced labor. These are organized crime groups who are motivated by making money…. They don’t care about the children forced into prostitution, working in terrible conditions, living on the streets, they are all after the money,” Interpol’s Director of Organised and Emerging Crime Paul Stanfield said in