The Rivers State Police Command has smashed a child trafficking ring and arrested four suspects in Igwuruta and Omagwa, Obio/Akpor and Ikwerre Local Government Areas of the state.
Spokesperson of the command, SP Grace Iringe-Koko, who disclosed this in a statement issued in Port Harcourt on Tuesday, January 10, said 10 pregnant women and teenagers were rescued during the sting operation.
According to Iringe-Koko, the 41 intelligence unit operatives of the command, acting on a tip off, raided two houses in the communities where the victims were being kept.
Some of the victims are as young as 15 years old and are heavily pregnant while others nurse infants.
They were lured by the promise of financial reward depending on the sex of the baby they deliver.
One of the victims said she was promised the sum of N800,000 if she births a male child, and N700,000 for a female.
The statement read;
“The Rivers State Police Command on Saturday 7th January 2023, at about 1645 hours based on credible intelligence available to C4I Intelligence Unit Operatives, stormed Igwuruta and Omagwa axis,”
“Following an intelligence report, the following suspects were arrested by police operatives: Favour Bright ‘F’, 30 years old, from Umudioga Community in Emohua Local Government Area of Rivers State, and Peace Alikoi ‘F’, 40 years old, from Iguruta Community in Ikwerre Local Government Area, who is the leader of the syndicate and the owner of the outfits.
“Others were Gift Saviour ‘F’ 19yrs from Umudioga Community in Ikwerre Local Government Area, Favour Charles ‘F’ 23yrs from Abale Community in Obingwa LGA of Abia State, Joy Monday ‘F’ 21yrs from Bumy Community Gokana Local Government Ares Rivers State, Chiagoro Nice ‘F’ 19yrs from Ndas Community Etche Local Government Area, Blessing Francis ‘F’ 28yrs from Ngwa Community Ikot Ekpene Local Government Area Akwa Ibom State, Joy Emmanuel ‘F’ 29yrs from Ikot Obiom Community in Insit Ebiom Local Government Area Akwa Ibom State, Precious Kalu ‘F’ 25yrs from Umudioga Emohua Local Government Area Rivers State.
“Cynthia Ekeh ‘F’ 27yrs from Okpuala Community Ngor Okpuala Local Government Area Imo State, Queen Amos ‘F’ 28yrs from Owase Community in Kwande Local Government Area Benue State. Chika Nwosa ‘F’ 15yrs from Umudioga Emohua Local Government Area, Chigozie Ogbonna ‘M’ 29yrs From Abale Community Obingwa Local Government Area Abia State and Noble Uzochi ‘M’ 17yrs from Omuobasa Community in Osisioma Local Government Area Abia State.
“After the victims have been put to bed, the suspect leader will keep the baby with her while she pays the mother a sum of Five Hundred Thousand Naira (N500, 000:00). All of the suspects admitted to participating in the dirty game to meet their financial needs.
“A Honda Pilot Jeep with Reg. Number, Lagos, FST 607 AX, white was recovered from her. Efforts are being made to arrest the buyers of their offspring.
“The Command wishes to reaffirm its commitment to reducing crime and criminality in all of its forms to a bare minimum. While painstaking effort is being deployed to ensure the above, members of the public are urged to remain vigilant and report any suspicious activity to the police at the following emergency number: 08039213071. 08098880134.”