Emma Elekwa, Onitsha
Police in Anambra state said they have arrested four traffickers, including two women who specialised in child-snatching, child stealing, and trafficking from different parts of the country.
Spokesperson, Haruna Mohammed in a statement, said a total of eight children were rescued from them.
He listed the names of the suspects to include Mrs. Joy Lazarus (40) of No. 138 Urata area Aba, Abia State, Janet Gideon (22) of No. 12 Irete Street Owerri, Imo State, and Gideon Bobby Gods power (26) of Port Harcourt in River State.
Others were Wisdom Ndubuisi (26) of Chokosho Village PH, Rivers State, and Chukwudima C. Nwogu (29) of No. 138 Urata area Aba, Abia State.
He said the suspects would be brought to book after investigations.
He said, “On the 13/9/2020 following intelligence report, Police detectives attached to Onitsha Area Command in collaboration with the Command State Intelligence Bureau (SIB) arrested five members of a Child Stealing/Trafficking syndicate.
“Suspects specialises in child-snatching, child stealing and trafficking from different parts of the country especially South-East and South-South Geo-political zones.
“Preliminary investigation revealed that the children (five boys and three girls) were stolen from Rivers Bayelsa, Imo, Abia and the Anambra States both at gun points and through stealing after which they were sold to the kingpin in Abia State.
“Consequently, upon interrogation, the suspects voluntarily confessed that they usually steal the children and bring to their sponsor one Mrs Joy Lazarus ‘f’ of Urata in Abia State who allegedly buys the children at the rate of between two hundred and four hundred thousand (#200-400,000) naira depending on their age and gender.
“Further investigation also revealed that in addition to Child Stealing and trafficking, the same sponsor Mrs. Joy Lazarus also lures underage girls into having pregnancy after which she will buy the children from them immediately after delivery.
“So far eight children of various age brackets were rescued from the syndicates including years and half old baby recently snatched from the parent at gunpoint in Orlu, Imo State as well as a 15 years old pregnant girl.
“Meanwhile, all the children are in protective care and would be handed over to the social welfare department for custodial care.
“In view of the foregoing, the Commissioner of Police, John Abang urges parents and guardians to always monitor their children and caution them against strangers.
“The CP further enjoins the public whose children were either stolen or missing to report at Onitsha Area Command for proper identification and claim their children.”