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Imo police arrest six over alleged stealing, trafficking of seven children

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A crack team of Police operatives in Imo State, known as Operation Puff, has arrested six persons suspected to be involved in the stealing seven children and selling them to child traffickers.

According to a statement, yesterday, by the state Command’s Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Orlando Ikeokwu, the prime suspect, Immaculata Edward, 31, from Okonde, Buje Council of Cross River State, allegedly visited her boyfriend, Ifara Isong, 46, from Ugep in Yarkur Council of Cross River State, based in Eziama Logara, Ngor Okpala Council of Imo State, where she allegedly stole five children their parents kept in her care and sold them to traffickers.

The syndicate was also accused of stealing two other children and taking them to same traffickers.   The statement read: “On 24/4/2019, one Immaculata Edward, a native of Okonde in Cross River State, who is a girlfriend to one Ifara Isong resident at Eziama Logara in Ngor Okpala Local Council visited the said boyfriend.

“Because she was familiar and well-known in the area, the children and the neighbours of her boyfriend were all fond of her, they left the children in her custody while they went about their businesses. 

“The said Immaculata targeted when her boyfriend went out to buy something and then stole five children, namely: Somto Ekeh ‘female,’ six years; Kelechi Ekeh, ‘male,’ five years; Chisom Ekeh, ‘female,’ three years; Ebuka Enwerem, ‘male,’ three years; Chioma Enwerem, ‘female,’ five years and Lucky Idah, ‘male’ six years, all children of one Reginald Ekeh, ‘male’ and took them to a notorious child trafficker, one Perpetual Iwuji, 46, from Obokwu Ulakwo in Owerri North Local Council, who then sold two of the children to one Grace Nwachukwu, 58, another notorious child trafficker, who hails from Isiala Mbutu in Aboh Mbaise Local Council, but lives at Mpape Abuja. 

“Immaculata also stole two of her uncle’s children from Cross River State and sold them to one Ifeoma Ndubuisi, 27, ‘female’ from Lokpanta in Umunneochi Local Council in Abia State.

“However, following intelligence, systematic, thorough and painstaking investigation, all the children stolen from Logara were recovered. “Moreover, in the course of the investigation, additional five children were recovered from Perpetual Iwuji and kept in an orphanage home.”The statement disclosed that the five children stolen from Logara have been reunited with their families, while one of the two children stolen from Cross River State has been recovered from Ifeoma Ndubuisi and efforts were on to recover the remaining one.

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Immaculata Edward
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