The Police in Anambra State in Nigeria have arrested a 55-year-old woman, Nkechi Odinye, suspected to be running a child trafficking syndicate.
Odinye was said to have been on the run for three years.
The Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) in the state, Haruna Mohammed, in a statement on Tuesday, said no fewer than 12 children – eight boys and four girls – were rescued from the syndicate.
According to Mohammed, Odinye was nabbed after three female child traffickers arrested in the state in October 2019 indicted her in their confessional statements.
The PPRO said three child traffickers were arrested at Nkpor market/Tarzan junction in Idemili North LGA in Anambra with some children who were stolen from their homes in Gombe State by one Hauwa Musa.
The statement read, “During interrogation, the suspects voluntarily confessed that they would usually steal the children and take them to their sponsor, Nkechi Odinye, who allegedly buys the children here in Anambra State at the rate of between two hundred and four hundred thousand (#200-400,000) naira depending on their age and gender.
“On August 31, following the confession and while acting on a tip-off, Police detectives attached to 3-3 Division Onitsha in Collaboration with Operatives attached to the Command Special Anti-Cult Section (SPACS) stormed the hideout of the principal suspect one Nkechi Odinye, female, aged 55 years and effected her arrest at Obosi in Idemili North Local Government Area of Anambra State.
“The suspect who has evaded arrest for over three years has remained on the run by changing locations until her arrest.
“The team equally rescued twelve children of various age brackets, comprising of 8 boys and 4 girls reasonably suspected to have been stolen from different parts of the Country under her custody.”
Haruna said the rescued children are presently under protective care and investigations are still ongoing.
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