At least 59 commercial sex workers which included 43 girls and 16 men have been arrested by the Department of State Security (DSS) in Calabar.

Ilupeju Adebayo, Director of DSS in Cross River, who briefed reporters on Saturday in Calabar, said the girls were rounded up at 2:15 a.m Saturday morning at Peace Garden Hotel and Papsi Place along Murtala Mohammed highway.

Adebayo said there was a cartel responsible for luring the girls and making them swear oaths of secrecy not to abscond or divulge information about the business.

“We got an intelligent report and swung into action, we have been on the matter for months. We discovered that the girls are mostly underage, mostly 13, 15, and 19 years of age.

“We also know that they were brought in by a cartel, deeply involved in the business of trafficking and using the girls as commercial sex workers.

“The girls then bring returns to them at the beginning or close of the week depending on their modus operandi.

“We have made some arrests including that of the owner of “Papsi place” a brothel that houses mostly underage girls who pay him N2,000 on weekdays and N4,000 at weekends as lodging fee. They operate from the hotel to clubs where we arrested them stark naked.

“We have contacted the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons while investigations are ongoing until all those involved in the illicit trade are arrested and charged to court,’’ he said.

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