How A Baby-Selling Syndicate Was Smashed

How A Baby-Selling Syndicate Was Smashed

How A Baby-Selling Syndicate Was Smashed

It is no more news that the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) smashed a syndicate that specialised in the procurement, abduction and sale of babies in Abuja on Tuesday.

What is now news is how the syndicate operated smoothly until luck ran out on them and they were caught by officers of NAPTIP.

According to LEADERSHIP investigation, the girl who is at the centre of the entire drama is Peace Asugwo,an indigene of Agwavillage in Ogutalocal government area of Imo State who got pregnantfor her boyfriend, Johnson.

After she had the baby, an Abuja-based driver, Mr Kingsley Linus, was willing to marry her even though at age 16, she already had a child.

Arrangements were made for the traditional rites and her bride price was subsequently paid to the grandmother, who initially felt Peace had brought shame upon the family for becoming pregnant out of wedlock.

Thereafter, they arrived where Abuja and Peace waslodged in a hotel atKubwa because Linus claimed he had lost the keys to his house.

Peace had no idea that she had been conned by a syndicate headed by Linus and Martina Onwelikwe, a nurse Linus had introduced to Peace as his elder sister.

Interestingly, when faced with the reality of her situation no one to turn to for comfort, Peace found her way to the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and later to the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP).

According to NAPTIP Assistant Director, Press and Public Relations, Mr.ArinzeOrakwue, NAPTIP agents got cracking after they were approached by Peace and their investigation paid off, as they were able to recover the baby alongside four others from the syndicate and the couples who bought them.

Orakwue who said the syndicate had cells in Abuja, Enugu, Lagos and Minna, added that on September 17, the Niger State Police Command also transferred to the agency a case of criminal conspiracy, abduction and human trafficking involving four suspects and three victims with four babies.

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