Operatives of the Department of State Services and the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons have arrested 11 suspected traffickers in some parts of Anambra State in a joint operation.
Our correspondent learnt that the operatives also rescued three children, whose ages ranged from eight months to four years, from the custody of the syndicate.
The parents of the rescued children had yet to be located.
It was gathered that the suspects – comprising eight women and three men – belonged to a criminal syndicate that specialised in the kidnapping and sale of babies in Southeast states, Lagos and Abuja.
According to NAPTIP, scores of children, yet to be traced, are believed to have been trafficked by the gang.
Our correspondent learnt that one of the suspects, 30-year-old Rosemary Okafor, sold one of her four children for N350,000 to one woman, identified simply as Madam Pink.
Okafor said she sold the child so that she could afford to send three other children to school.
The NAPTIP, in a release on Wednesday, did not disclose the names of the other suspects.
It was learnt that the suspects were in the custody of the NAPTIP Enugu Zonal Command, while the rescued children were receiving treatment at the agency’s shelter.
The NAPTIP Head of Press and Public Relations, Josiah Emerole, who confirmed the arrest, said investigation was ongoing
He said, “Among the rescued children was a two-year-old girl, who was reportedly stolen from Lagos State sometime ago. She has a four-year-old sister who was sold as well and whom we have not yet rescued. The parents of the rescued eight-month-old baby have yet to be traced. The third rescued child was stolen from Okpoko, in Anambra State and was rescued in Lagos.
“While the suspects are in the custody of the Enugu zonal command of the agency, the rescued children and other victims are presently receiving the required services at the agency’s shelter. Investigation into the matter continues.”