Nigerian authorities said Monday they’ve foiled a child trafficking plot to transport nine young girls and one boy to Russia under the guise of being World Cup fans.
Five suspects, including a policeman and a quarantine officer, were among those arrested in the case.
The children were rescued while boarding a plane from Lagos to Moscow and had World Cup supporter ID cards in order to look like they were fans headed to the games, authorities said.
The children were ultimately taken to a shelter run by the National Agency for Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons.
Five other children were intercepted before boarding the plane to Russia.
Investigators said child traffickers have been pressuring Nigerians to take advantage of this year’s World Cup to get Russian visas. Once the children arrive in Russia, though, officials said the victims would be exploited.
By Sara Shayanian