The Edo Police Command has arrested three members of a syndicate which allegedly specialises in child theft and sale, and operating an illegal orphanage in Benin.
DSP Chidi Nwabuzor, the Command’s Public Relations Officer, disclosed this in a statement issued in Benin on Friday.
Nwabuzor said that the command in its efforts to rid the state of crimes and criminality, and make it safer for the residents had recorded some modest achievements.
“The command, on the 4th of June, 2018, received complaints of missing children, ages two and four years respectively, from their parents Mr and Mrs Edos Osarounamwen of Otesi Village, Benin City.
“Subsequently, the operatives of the Anti-Kidnapping and Cybercrime Unit through Hi-Tech intelligence probed into the phone of the couple’s co-tenant.
“Our probing revealed that the co-tenant was the last to be seen with the children,’’ he said.
He said that the intelligence eventually led to the arrest of a 33-year-old suspect at Ondo town in Ondo State.
According to Nwabuzor, during intensive interrogation, the suspect confessed that she received the stolen children from the co-tenant of the children’s parents before she disappeared with them to Onitsha in Anambra.
He said that the suspect confessed to have sold the children to a 49-year-old lady for N450,000 and N300,000 respectively.
The police spokesman said further that the command thereafter extended its investigation to Anambra, where the suspected buyer was arrested.
Nwabuzor quotes the Edo Commissioner of Police, CP Danmallam Mohammed as saying, “However, the command is not relenting, as the protection of lives and property is one of its top priority.
He said the commissioner directed the officer in charge of the Anti-Kidnapping and Cybercrime Unit, to go after the other suspects, after receiving the brief of the case.
“This spurred the operatives into action and one Ogechi Ejike was arrested on May 1 at Afam Community, Rivers State.
“She made a statement and confessed to selling one of the children to another suspect who runs an orphanage at Okigwe in Imo State for N500,000.
“The operatives moved to Okigwe, Imo State and arrested the suspect, who also made confessional statements.
“The statements led to the arrest of other members of the syndicate in Enugu, Rivers and Lagos States,’’ he said.
The police spokesman said that all those arrested had been charged to court.