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news Immigration rescue three weeks old baby from suspected trafficker...

Immigration rescue three weeks old baby from suspected trafficker on high sea


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Sani Wilson Enemona

Cross River state, Nigeria Immigration Service, NIS, Marine Patrol team has rescued a three-week-old baby alledged to be a victim of child trafficking at the high sea.

The Cross River Comptroller of NIS, Mr Okey Ezugwu, who spoke to journalists of the incident in Calabar, disclosed that the suspected child trafficker, Mrs Maureen Awokara, was arrested on Dec. 19, 2020, at the high sea.

The Comptroller mentioned that the child trafficker was arrested by the marine officers on patrol following her inability to give a substantial explanation on the true ownership of the baby.

He said: “A few days ago, our officers at the marine patrol at the international waterways intercepted one Maureen Awokara, who claimed to be a native of Imo state with a three-weeks old child.

“During the arrest, she came up with all stories that were not adding up. Initially, she said the child belongs to her sister, yet we have carried out a preliminary investigation and all the lines she gave us to reach the sister, one Chioma Iweh is not connecting.

“At this point, we are going to hand her over to NAPTIP for further investigations. The preliminary investigation gives us every reason to believe that the little child is been trafficked.

“The suspect claimed she is going to Cameroon, Gabon and wherever. We are suspecting a cartel deal because over time, we have had a lot of surveillance and serious checks at our border basis and the airport, making it impossible for any of them to use these routes.

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“We are looking at a situation where they have now devised a means of using the waterways, using small boats to take away these little children along,” he said.

He further disclosed that effort nade by the command to get in contact with other family members to ascertain if the family members were in agreement for her to take the baby away have not yeild positive result because the suspect was not willing to give them useful information on the matter.

The Comptroller disclosed that the NIS marine patrol team would continue to police the waterways with a view to ensure that all forms of child trafficking and other act of criminality are suppressed.

He however called onparents to always watch over their children with love and care and shun any form of allowing their children to be trafficked for monetary purpose.

Maureen Awokara, 40, years old, disclosed to newsmen that the baby belonged to her younger sister who could not afford to take care of her after delivery on Dec. 2, 2020.

She said that the younger sister decided to give her the child because she had been married for 18 years without a child.

“She gave me the baby in Imo state; since they brought me here, I have been trying to get in contact with her but her number isn’t connecting.

“The only time her number went through, I only heard a man’s voice, which was not her own,” she revealed.

The suspect further disclosed that the father of the child was also in agreement for her ( Maureen) to take the baby away, Awokara stayed that the father of the child had denied the pregnancy even before delivery.

“My younger sister is about 20 years.

“This is not her first time of giving birth; but, we don’t know where the first child is as we speak,” the suspect said.

Read more at SOURCE: This post (Immigration rescue three weeks old baby from suspected trafficker on high sea) firstly published at on 2020-12-23 12:29:34

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