Police in Anambra State have rescued eight children suspected to have been stolen from different states of Nigeria.
Also rescued from the den of the suspected human traffickers is a 15-year-old girl who is pregnant.
Spokesperson for Anambra State Police Command, SP Haruna Mohammed who disclosed this to journalists on Tuesday, said the suspected human trafficking syndicate, consisting two women and three men were also arrested.
Haruna said, “On the 13/9/2020 following intelligence report, Police detectives attached to Onisha Area Command in collaboration with the Command State intelligence Bureau (SIB) arrested Five members of a Child Stealing/Trafficking syndicate as follows,
They are; Mrs Joy Lazarus ‘f” aged 40years of NO. 138 Urata area Aba, Abia State, Janet Gideon ‘f” aged 22years of No. 12 Irete Street Owerri, Imo State, Gideon Bobby Godspower ‘m’ aged 26 years of Port Harcourt in River State, Wisdom Ndubuisi ‘m’ aged 26yrs of Chokosho Village PH, Rivers State and Chukwudima C. Nwogu ‘m’ aged 29 years of No. 138 urata area Aba, Abia State.”
He said the suspects specialise 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 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.”
He added that further investigation revealed that in addition to child-stealing and trafficking, the same sponsor, Mrs Joy Lazarus also lured 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 a year-and-half old baby recently snatched from the parent at gun point in Orlu, Imo State as well as a 15-year-old pregnant girl.
Investigation is still ongoing after which all the suspects would be brought to book,” he said.