By Okafor Ofiebor
Operatives of the Rivers State Police Command have busted a baby factory in the state, arrested four syndicates and rescued 10 pregnant women.
The command swung into action and invaded the baby factory on Saturday at 4.45 pm at Omagwa and Igwuruta, Ikwerre Local Government Area of Rivers State.
A teenager and three others were arrested in connection with child trafficking.
SP Grace Iringe-Koko, Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, Rivers, in a statement said that acting on credible intelligence available to the command, C4I Intelligence Unit Operatives, raided two houses at Igwuruta and Omagwa communities respectively, where victims of child trafficking were being kept.
She said in the operation, the suspects were arrested by the police operatives.
The apprehended suspected child traffickers include are: Favour Bright, 30; Peace Alikoi, 40; Noble Uzuchi, 17 and Chigozie Ogbonna.
The victims rescued in the operation are 10. They are: Gift Saviour 19; Favour Charles, 23; Joy Monday, 21; Chiagoro Nice 19; Blessing Francis, 28; Joy Emmanuel, 29; Precious Kalu 25; Cynthia Ekeh, 27; Queen Amos, 28 and Chika Nwosa, 15.
Iringe-Koko further said that investigation into the case so far revealled that when the victims were delivered of their new born babies, “the syndicate leader would keep the baby while she pays the victim a N500, 000. All the victims confessed that they have been lured into the illicit sales of children because of the need to meet some financial challenges.”
A Honda Pilot Jeep with Registration Number, Lagos, FST 607 AX, was recovered from the syndicate leader.
The case has been transferred to the State Criminal Investigation Department, SCID, while efforts are being intensified to track and arrest the buyers of the children already sold out.
Iringe-Koko re-affirmed its commitment to reducing crime and criminality in all its forms to the barest minimum.
She appealed to members of the public to remain vigilant and report any suspicious activity to the Police by calling the following emergency numbers: 08039213071, 08098880134.