How Syndicate Steals Children In Kano, Bauchi, Sells In Anambra, Lagos – Police

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In what appears a new dimension to child trafficking, the Police Thursday unraveled a nine-man syndicate that specialises in child theft in the northern part of the country, sell and get them assimilated into a different culture in the southern part of the country.

With a new culture, the trafficked children will no longer be able to speak their language of origin, the police investigation further revealed.    

In one of the instances, children stolen from Kano state were sold for between N400, 000 and N500, 000 in Lagos, Anambra and other southern states.

The trafficked children usually have their names changed before they are sold off to the willing buyers.

Similarly, the Kano state Police command, rescued seven children, stolen in their infancy, with their age put between three and eight years.

Commissioner of Police Mohammed Gumel made the revelations while parading the suspected criminals at the Bompai Police headquarters, Kano.

According to Gumel, luck ran against the syndicate when operatives intercepted one Comfort at the popular Mariri luxurious bus park in Kano while attempting to traffic a five-year-old victim (names withheld) to Lagos.

The police boss said with Comfort’s arrest, the command got further information leading to the arrest of the eight other suspected members of the gang.

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“In the area of tackling offences around human trafficking, including the buying and selling of minors, the Police Command has conducted several intelligence-led operations.

“This led to the longtime cycle of inter-state trafficking syndicates hibernating around Kano, Bauchi, Gombe, Lagos, Delta, Anambra, and Imo states, etc identified and dismantled,” the CP said.

Arrest of traffickers

On how the suspects were nabbed by the operatives, Gumel said:  “At the stage of preliminary investigation, four other suspects were separately arrested for being part of the syndicate.

“They are Ezugbu, 52, of Sabon Gari Quarters; Nzelu, 43, of Sabon Gari Quarters; Ali, 35, of Badawa Quarters, Kano, and Ekeidigwe, 55, of Weitherhead Sabon Gari Quarters Kano.

“It was discovered during the investigation that the child, who is from Zango Quarters, was abducted on December 12 from Bauchi State.

“Further investigation revealed that the suspects are in the same cycle of abducting, buying and selling minors from Bauchi and Kano states. They traffic and sell them to people within their racket in different locations in Lagos and Anambra states.”

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“In addition, two more syndicate members were arrested in Bauchi. They are Yarima, 45, of Zango Quarters, Bauchi, and Samuel, 35, of Yelwa, Bauchi State.

“Also, one other syndicate member was arrested in Lagos State. She is Obi, indigene of Nnewi, Anambra State, aged 59 years. Through her another syndicate member was also arrested in Nnewi. She is Eriobuna, aged 59.

“This brought the total number of arrested trafficking suspects to nine,” the police chief further revealed.

Name change

Gumel also told journalists how the suspected syndicate members tried to perfect their heinous crimes by changing the names of their victims before being sold off to the readily available buyers.  

He said: “It was found during investigations that another victim, Ilya, had his name changed to Chidebere. He was abducted from Bauchi and sold at Nnewi. He has also been rescued.

“The child that was rescued at Mariri Luxurious Park had his name changed to Ifenyin Chukwu and sold at N480,000. Asiya changed to Chioma and sold N480, 000. She is four years old, abducted in Bauchi and rescued at Niger Road, Sabon Gari Quarters, Kano.

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“Mahmud Bilyaminu, aged three, abducted from Bauchi, re-named Chioma, sold for N450, 000 and rescued at Niger Road, Sabon Gari, Kano.

“Usman Adamu, aged eight years, abducted from Bauchi, sold at ₦450,000, name changed to Chibuke also rescued at Yoruba Road, Sabon Gari Kano. Hafizu Hassan, eight, abducted from Bauchi, sold at N480, 000, and his name changed to Uche Chukwu. He was rescued at Niger Road, Sabon Gari Kano.

“Chiamaka Ambrose, aged seven, abducted on her birthday at Yelwa Bauchi. She was sold at N300, 000, but rescued at Niger Road, Sabon Gari Kano. We are still searching for her parents.

“Mohammed Iliya, aged five, was abducted from Bauchi three years back, sold at N500, 000, and renamed Chidebere. He was rescued at Nnewi, Anambra State.

“Some of these children are cultured and assimilated as they can no longer speak their parents’ language.

“This is part of our determination to ensure that Kano State remains a place where the rights and dignity of every individual are upheld.” (Blueprint)

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