By Mustapha Sumaila
The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) on Wednesday said it arrested 11 persons over suspected child trafficking, abduction and sale of children in Anambra.
Mr Josiah Emerole, the NAPTIP Head of Press and Public Relations, said this in a statement in Abuja.
Emerole stated that the suspects were nabbed in different parts of Anambra in a combined operation carried out with the support of operatives of Department of State Services (DSS).
He noted that the suspects, comprising eight women and three men, were said to belong to a criminal syndicate which specialised in kidnapping and sale of babies across the country.
Notably the States of the South-East, Lagos and Abuja.
The spokesperson disclosed that three children whose ages range from eight months to four years were recovered during the operation, while scores of other children believed to be trafficked by the gang were yet to be found.
According to him, among the children is a two-year-old girl reportedly stolen from Lagos sometime ago and another four-year-old boy allegedly stolen from his parents in Gudaba in FCT.
He added that the boy’s parents were yet to be traced to collect the child.
“The parents of the eight month old child are yet to be traced, while the two-year old child whose four-year old brother is yet to be recovered has been identified by her parents.
“`The baby was stolen from Okpoko in Anambra and recovered in Lagos.”
He said one of the arrested suspects, Rosemary Okafor (30 years old) allegedly sold one of her four children, a newborn baby, to one woman simply identified as Madam Pink at the cost of N350,000.
Emerole noted that the suspect confessed to have sold the baby to be able to train the other three in school.
He stated that the suspects were in custody of the Enugu Zonal Command of NAPTIP, while the rescued children and the remaining three children of Rosemary Okafor’s victims were presently receiving required services at the agency’s shelter.
He, however, added that investigation was ongoing and the culprits would be prosecuted accordingly after investigation. (NAN)