Five members of a notorious kidnap syndicate which specializes in the kidnapping and trafficking of children have been arrested by the Anambra State Police Command.
In a statement released, Tuesday, by Haruna Mohammed – the spokesperson of the Command, the activities of the gang was busted when, acting on intelligence received on their illicit activities, some special Operatives attached to the Onitsha Area Command, immediately swung into action on the 13th of September, in collaboration with the Command’s State Intelligence Bureau (SIB).
The five members of the group were apprehended while eight stolen children held captive by the suspects were rescued by the police. All rescued children including a fifteen year old pregnant girl, were suspected to have been taken from various states in the South Eastern part of Nigeria.
‘Preliminary Investigation revealed that the children (five boys and three girls) were stolen from Rivers Bayelsa,Imo, Abia and Anambra States both at gun points and through stealing after which they were sold to the kingpin in Abia State.” Haruna said.
The Police further disclosed that upon interrogation, the suspects confessed to indulging in their nefarious child trafficking activities in compliance with the demand of their sponsor, one Mrs. Joy Lazarus of Urafa in Abia State, and that the children are usually sold within the rate of N200,000 (Two Hundred Thousand Naira) and N400,000 (Four Hundred Thousand Naira) depending on their age and gender.
The statement listed names of the arrested suspects as;
- Mrs Joy Lazarus ‘f” aged 40years of NO. 138 Urata area Aba, Abia State
- Janet Gideon ‘f” aged 22years of No. 12 irete Street Owerri, Imo State
- Gideon Bobby Gods power ‘m’ aged 26years of Port Harcourt in River State
- Wisdom Ndubuisi ‘m’ aged 26yrs of Chokosho Village PH, Rivers State
- Chukwudima C. Nwogu ‘m’ aged 29years of No. 138 Urata area Aba,Abia State.
Further disclosure by the Police further revealed that the gang’s sponsor, Mrs Joy Lazarus, also lures underage girls into getting pregnant, after which the children are bought from them after delivery.