By Chidi Nkwopara, OWERRI
Imo State Police Command has smashed child trafficking syndicate, arrested eight suspects and recovered 10 children, including two-day old twins.
According to a press statement signed by the Command’s Public Relations Officer, PPRO, Mr. Andrew Enwerem, the arrests were effected between July 24, 2018, and August 17, 2018.
“Operatives of the Imo State Police Command, have arrested eight suspects in connection with child stealing and trafficking. The arrests were made between July 24, 2018 and August 17, 2018, at Agbor Park in Benin City, Edo State and Imo State respectively”, Mr. Enwerem said.
Continuing, the PPRO disclosed that “a total of 11 stolen children were recovered from the suspects, pointing out that some of the recovered children have been identified and reunited with their parents.
The PPRO gave the names of the recovered children as Somtochukwu Obiduba (9), his sister, Kosarachi Obiduba (7), who were stolen from their parents at Akokwa, Ideato North local government area of Imo State, on August 15, 2018.
“Others are Onyinyechi Okpala (f), stolen in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, on November 30, 2014, Divine Isaac Anyaka (f), stolen at St. Michael’s Catholic Church, Onuimo, four-year old Habeeb (surname unknown) and two-year old Wunmi (f), whose surname is also unknown, but the duo are strongly suspected to have been stolen from Sabo Ajangbadi area of Lagos State”, the PPRO said.
The rest, according to the police image maker are five-year old Chisere Nwadike, Ginika (f) and Ndubuisi (m), whose surnames and age have remained unverified, at the time of going to press.
“The most pathetic is the two-day old twin babies, a boy and a girl. The innocent, helpless and hapless babies were also stolen from their parents, by these heartless criminals”, Enwerem said.
The PPRO then gave the names of the suspects as Ikewete Lucy Ann and Theresa Asiegbu, both of Umuikpa Ozu Urualla, Ideato North local council area of Imo State, as well as Chioma Emeka from Umuanumoke, Okigwe local government area, Imo State.
Equally mentioned in the list are Happiness Peter (f) from Iyala, Ogoja, Cross River State, Martina Nwadike of Agbor Park, Benin City, Edo State, Martha Ojimba, a native of Mgbee, Orlu local government area of Imo State, as well as Chizoba Eze and Amaka Eze, both of Ngwo, UDI local government area of Enugu State
While saying that “the suspects have confessed to have sold some of the children between N300, 000 and N600, 000 before they were arrested”, the PPRO equally appealed to parents and guardians whose child or children were reported missing, to report to the Public Relations Department of the State Police Command for Identification and collection of their children.