Saturday, 14 November 2015

Suspected traffickers confess to selling pregnant girls’ babies to assist couples without children


Suspected child traffickers who were recently nabbed by the Special Anti Robbery Squad (SARS) at the Delta State police command have said they engage in the business to assist pregnant girls including married couples who don’t have children.

Operatives of SARS arrested some suspected human trafficking
syndicates and recovered over five children suspected to have been sold by members of the group who operate within Delta, Anambra, Cross River, Akwa-Ibom, Rivers and other states of the country.

The suspects, while responding to questions from our correspondent said, “We sold babies between 1-5 years of age to those who have been married for several years without children. Some of us are nurses and supportive members of staff of health institutions. 

We do not know how the police got wind of our illicit businesses while we were operating in Asaba and Onitsha. In most cases, a child costs N250,000 to N500,000 while grown-up ones are sold for N1m.”

Investigation revealed that the suspects took the SARS operatives to Akwa-Ibom State where two children were rescued and two other persons, suspected to be members of their gang, were also arrested.

One of the suspects who claimed to be Patience Okon said, “Since their mothers cannot take care of their babies because of lack of money, we normally arrange for wealthy parents who have no children but in need of children, to come and buy from us and take them away. 

We issue receipts of payment to them, we don’t steal the children as police are alleging but the mothers of these children in most cases opt for their children to be sold. Some of them don’t even know the men who impregnate them while some would be hiding from their parents. So we actually help them to solve their problems”.

Other suspects who spoke in the same vein said, “We were just helping out some persons who are in need. We are not human traffickers even though we make money from it. The mothers of the babies wanted to throw them away so we came to assist these young girls so that they would not throw away the babies or kill them.”

But the Commissioner of Police in the State, Alkali Baba Usman, told our correspondent that upon information that there is an inter-state human and child trafficking syndicate cell in Asaba, SARS operatives proactively arrested the gang leader of the syndicate, saying that the suspect and her husband allegedly confessed to the crime and led the officers to their different hideouts in Anambra, Akwa-Ibom and Cross Rivers States where five of the children adopted for sale were rescued.

Meanwhile, police in Agbor have arrested two suspected leaders of a prominent cult group who have been terrorising residents of the area.

It was reliably gathered that the suspects, identified as James Gbenoba and Charles Odeh, are allegedly behind the recent cult war and its related activities in Agbor where two persons were said to have been killed.

According to the Police Public Relations Officer of the state, Mrs. Celestina Kalu, the suspects are also believed to have been behind snatching motorcycles in Agbor before their arrest, disclosing that the police acted on a tip off that some suspected cultist were terrorising Agbor-Nta community and that the suspect had stolen some motorcycles in town.

She said that based on the report, Police patrol team in conjunction with the local vigilante, moved to the scene and arrested the two suspects believed to be leaders of a cult group, Aiye confraternity.

Also, Mrs. Kalu said the police have recovered 672 live cartridges from suspected armed robbers who allegedly moved arms in the area for operation, saying that the suspects pretended to be operating a commercial transport bus that was intercepted by the police around Eku/Aghalopke road.

She said that upon search by the police, they recovered 672 live cartridges in the vehicle adding that one of the passengers pretended to be urinating and later escaped into anearby bush but the driver of the vehicle was arrested and currently helping the police with further investigation.

Similarly, the police in Uvwie local government area of the state, have arrested a 42 year old man, Francis Egere, a tricycle rider with 40 live AK47 rifle bullets and upon interrogation, the suspect confessed to the crime.
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