Members of a child trafficking syndicate has explained how they sell babies and grown up children for between N250,000 and N1million and issue receipts after doing so.
The suspects who were nabbed by the Special Anti Robbery Squad (SARS) at the Delta state police command confessed to have engaged in the business as a way of helping pregnant girls make money, as well as provide children for married couples who don’t have children.
About five children suspected to have been sold by the group which operates in Delta, Anambra, Cross River, Akwa-Ibom and Rivers states, were rescued by SARS, Information Nigeria reports.
In their confessions, they revealed: “We sold babies between 1-5 years of age to those who have been married for several years without children. Some of us are nurses and supportive members of staff of health institutions.
“We do not know how the police got wind of our illicit businesses while we were operating in Asaba and Onitsha. In most cases, a child costs between N250,000 to N500,000 while grown-up ones are sold for N1m.”
After being caught and incapacitated, the suspects reportedly took the SARS operatives to Akwa-Ibom where two other suspected members of the gang were arrested and two children, rescued.
Patience Okon, one of the suspects said: “since their mothers cannot take care of their babies because of lack of money, we normally arrange for wealthy parents who have no children but in need of children, to come and buy from us and take them away.
“We issue receipts of payment to them, we don’t steal the children as police are alleging but the mothers of these children in most cases opt for their children to be sold. Some of them don’t even know the men who impregnate them while some would be hiding from their parents. So we actually help them to solve their problems.
“We were just helping out some persons who are in need. We are not human traffickers even though we make money from it. The mothers of the babies wanted to throw them away so we came to assist these young girls so that they would not throw away the babies or kill them.”
Confirming the incident was the state’s commissioner of police, Alkali Baba Usman, who stated that the SARS operatives quickly sprung into action when they heard about the inter-state human and child trafficking syndicate cell in Asaba.
The leader of the gang was immediately arrested alongside her husband who was said to have confessed to the crime and led the officers to their different hideouts in other states.
A hospital matron was also recently arrested for being involved in the sale of a one-day-old baby in a Lagos hospital.