By Harris Emanuel
The Police in Akwa Ibom State has busted child trafficking and theft syndicate who take possession of pregnant girls until delivery and sell out the babies reportedly at the rate of N400,000 and N300,000 for male and female respectively. in Oruk Anam council of the oil-rich state.
The suspects are one Ndukeabasi Ndianabasi Okon, f, of Nung Ukim village Uyo and her husband one Ndianaabasi Okon, who is now at large.
Police Public Relations Officer, Frederick N-Nudam, Chief Superintendent of Police, who made the disclosure, said the Police acted on a tip-off, immediately swooped on the ‘’babies factory’’, rescuing two pregnant teenage victims, one Peace Okon Sunday, 17, from Eka Ediene Village with seven pregnancy and Esther Victor Jeremiah 15, of Ikot Inyang Village.
According to him, the female suspect during interrogations confessed that she and her husband now at large have been in the illicit business since 2016, adding that they normally sell male and female children at the rate of N400,000 and N300,000 respectively.
CSP N-nudam also disclosed that a combined team of Itu Division and Anti-Child Theft equally intercepted an 18-seater a bus with registration number YEN 709 XA, conveying six underage children and that during investigation, the suspects, one Esther Asuquo Akpan, 42, and Otobong Solomon Akpan21, confessed that they were taken the victims to Osun State for child labour.
The victims included Elisha Joseph Akpan, 12, Emmanuel Peter Edim, 14, Elijah Victor Michael, 15, Saviour Etete Amos, 16, Effanga Asuquo Etim, 16, David Sunday Akpan, 16, all male of Akpabuyo, Cross River and that .
He said the Command had transferred the children to Ministry of Women Affairs for custody, while the suspects were charged to court.
Meanwhile, the Police have also arrested one Peace Bassey Okon who allegedly abducted one Joy Effiong Ekpeima, 16, and Peace Effiong Ekpeima, 17, in November 2019 and taken them to her sister house in Ogun State, denying them access to contact their parents even as she subjected them to forced labour and exploitation.
He said, ‘’During questioning, suspect admitted sending the victims to her sister without their parents or guardians consent.
‘’Investigation revealed that the suspect took advantage of the victims being dropped out of school occasioned by their parents inability to pay their school fees and abducted them for forced labour
‘’In view of the above, operatives proceeded to Ogun State and arrested the suspect’s sister one Sandra Bassey who took custody of the victims. Suspects have been charged to court.’’