BY EMMA AMAIZE
ASABA—POLICE in Delta State have smashed a child trafficking/kidnap gang, including two mothers, a couple and nurses.
Five of the suspects were arrested by the police at Akwukwu-Igbo in Oshimili North Local Government Area.
Two members of the gang, operating on a motorcycle, last Monday, abducted a one year, four-month-old boy, while he was playing with other children in Atuma community, near Akwukwu-Igbo.
Some of the vigilant residents, however, recognised one of the abductors who was from a neighbouring community.
He was released from jail about two months ago, where served term for a similar incident.
Vanguard gathered that the Divisional Police Officer, Akwukwu-Igbo Police Station, acting on a tip-off, asked his men to storm the residence of the principal suspect, who escaped through the window on seeing the police.
He was shot on the leg as he tried to disarm a police officer and arrested. At the time of this report, the 19-year-old suspect was receiving treatment at the General Hospital, Akwukwu-Igbo.
Police recovered the child unhurt at Igbodo, near Umunede, while the mother and wife of the principal suspect, believed to be part of the gang, were in police custody.
It was gathered that the couple in police custody had to two children, who were sold.
The second suspect, whose mother is based in Umunede, is still at large, was apprehended with the stolen child at Igbodo, and handed over to the police in Akwukwu-Igbo on Sunday.
At the General Hospital, a source said the doctor had referred the injured suspect to the Federal Medical Centre, Asaba, but was refused admission because of lack of bed space.
A police source told Vanguard: “This is a powerful kidnap/child trafficking syndicate that had been operating in this area for a very long time.
“You can see that some parents, their children and nurses are in the syndicate. We have arrested some principal suspects, but we have to get others too.”
Delta State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Ikechukwu Aduba, confirmed the incident when contacted by Vanguard, saying “they are child traffickers.”