The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), Edo Command, says it has arrested a 38-year-old man, suspected to be involved in human trafficking and sales of children.
The NAPTIP Zonal Commander in Edo, Mr Nduka Nwanwenne, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Benin on Monday that the suspect was arrested in Warri, after he planned to sell a baby at N1.5million.
Nwanwenne said that the arrest was made in collaboration with the Nigerian Police Force in Delta.
He said that the suspect, who hails from Okpe Local Government Area of Delta, operates an unregistered orphanage home, known as Kelly Osia Orphanage Home at Orhuwhorun in Udu LGA.
He said the information made available to the agency revealed that several attempts made by the suspect to register the said orphanage home with the Delta State Ministry of Women Affairs, Community and Social Development, were repeatedly turned down.
He said that the suspect, however, continued to operate the Orphanage illegally for the adoption and sale of babies.
According to Nwanwenne, “the suspect’s cover was blown open in a sting operation when a child protection specialist posed as a prospective client for the adoption of a baby in the orphanage.’’
“The undercover child protection specialist was told to buy provisions and food items, including Biscuits, Noodles, Semovita, Milk and other types of beverages for the children at the orphanage, to gain entrance into the Home.
“The undercover specialist was later asked to deposit the sum of N50, 000 as registration fee at a bank operated by the Orphanage.
“After the payment of registration fees and completion of the necessary forms and interviews, the suspect produced a three-month old baby for the child protection specialist and further requested the sum of N1.5 million from the undercover specialist for the baby.
“During the negotiation, the undercover child protection specialist said he was going to inform his wife first before picking the baby.
“Later that same day, the suspect allegedly called the undercover child protection specialist, saying that there was another child that looks so much like the first one and that they could be paired as twins.
“The suspect demanded an additional payment of two million naira to bring the total sum to N3.5 million, for the two babies.’’
Nwanwenne said it was at that point that the child protection specialist immediately reported the matter to the NAPTIP Office, for prompt action.
“The suspect was apprehended and has been taken into custody and is making useful statements,’’ (NAN)