Operatives of the Imo State Police Command have apprehended five members of a child trafficking syndicate who allegedly sold a six-hour-old baby for N850,000 shortly after he was born.
The Commissioner of Police in the state, Rabiu Ladodo, who paraded the suspects at the command’s headquarters in Owerri on Saturday, described the crime as “absurd and irritating.”
Ladodo said the suspects would be charged to court at the conclusion of investigation.
The CP noted that it was unbelievable that the mother of the newborn, Chinonye Oparaocha, 23, conspired with the other suspects to trade the child after delivery.
The other suspects are Confidence Anyanwu, 28; Duru Christian, 38; George Iyowuna, 38, and William Cynthia, 44.
Ladodo said the mother of the baby conspired with a nurse at the hospital where she was delivered of the baby to take the child to Rivers State, where he was trafficked for N850,000.
According to him, it took coordinated intelligence from his men for the baby to be recovered and the suspects arrested.
The CP said, “On February 8, 2019, at an undisclosed clinic on Nekede Road in the Owerri West LGA, one Chinonye Oparaocha was delivered of a baby boy.
“The woman immediately conspired with one Confidence Anyanwu, a nurse and native of Umuhu Okwuato in the Aboh Mbaise LGA, in company with her husband, Amanze Anyanwu (at large), and carried the six hours old baby to Port Harcourt in Rivers State, where one Duru Christian, was standing by.”
The CP explained that at Port Harcourt, Christian in company with Iyowuna, met them and took custody of the baby.
Ladodo said, “George Iyowuna met them at their hideout, took the baby boy and handed him over to a prospective buyer, William Cynthia and her husband, who eventually paid the sum of N850,000.
“On April 13, operatives of the Scorpion Squad of the command, after diligent investigation, arrested these five suspects, including the mother of the baby and the nurse, who delivered her of the baby.”
The CP said the suspects had given useful information to the police, adding that efforts were ongoing to arrest other fleeing members of the gang.