A Chinese national Lu Ke who fled Malawi last month after being accused of selling exploitative videos of Malawian children to China has been extradited by authorities in Zambia.
The bordering Zambian area of Mchinji is where Lu Ke was turned up to Malawian police on Saturday night, according to press reports on Sunday.
“He is in police custody. He was handed over by our friends from Zambia. As of now he has been charged with trafficking in persons, but other charges may be added,” said Harry Namwaza, the deputy spokesperson for Malawi Police Service.
After an investigation revealed that Lu Ke had been filming young people in central Malawi and forcing them to speak derogatory things about themselves in Mandarin, the country’s authorities began looking for him last month.
In one video, children, some as young as nine years of age, are heard saying in Mandarin that they are a “black monster” and have a “low IQ.”
According to reports, he was offering the films for sale to a Chinese website for up to $70 each. The young actors in the videos received around a dollar and a half each.
As a result of the announcement, protests were held on the streets of Malawi and a petition was delivered to the Chinese Embassy in the country’s capital, Lilongwe.
In their petition, the demonstrators demanded that China’s government pay the kids in the films for being duped into speaking words in a language they did not comprehend.
The University of Malawi Child Rights Legal Clinic, which organized the protests, is headed by Comfort Mankhwazi.
“Because we feel like this is one of those things we had in our petition, what we wanted, and we got that. We truly hope that this extradition and the arrest will lead to something big like the prosecution in our courts and finally those victims will be able to get justice they deserve,” she said.
As of Sunday, the Chinese government has not made any official statements about the extradition of Lu Ke.
However, Lu Ke is anticipated to show up in court soon, according to police spokesperson Namwaza.
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