The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons, NAPTIP, has arrested a 38-year-old man allegedly involved in human trafficking and sale of children through a sting operation.
The NAPTIP Zonal Commander in Edo State, Mr Nduka Nwanwenne, told the News Agency of Nigeria in Benin on Monday that the suspect was arrested in Warri, after he planned to sell a baby for N1.5 million.
Nwanwenne said that the suspect, who hails from Okpe Local Government Area of Delta, operates an unregistered orphanage known as Kelly Osia Orphanage Home at Orhuwhorun in Udu LGA.
According to him, the suspect, who tried to register the said orphanage with the Delta State Ministry of Women Affairs, Community and Social Development, was repeatedly turned down but continued to run the Orphanage illegally for selling and adopting babies.
He said, “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 stated that 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,” he said.