A 50-year-old man, Mr Nonyelum Okakwu, and his son, Chumezie Nwaeforu, age 13 years, have been arrested by the men of the Anambra State police command for allegedly stealing a child at Okoti, in Ogbaru local government area of the state.
Another member of Okakwu’s family, who was also paraded yesterday, at the state headquarters of the police command in connection with the theft of the female child, Nmachukwu Ebiowu, aged three years, was Mr. Obiajulu Okwosa, aged 16 years, who was also paraded for aiding the crime.
The state police commissioner, Mr Garba Baba Umar, who paraded the suspects, also named one Mrs Nkemdilim Okwosa as a member of the child stealing syndicate, but stated that she was yet to be apprehended.
The state police boss stated that the suspects were arrested by the police on 17th July, 2018, at about 0900hrs, when one Jude Ebiowu ‘m’ of Okoti, reported at Ogbauru Division that his daughter, named, Nmachukwu Ebiowu, female, aged three years of the same address, disappeared during a graduation ceremony at “The Light International School, Okoti” and all efforts to find her proved abortive.
Mr Umar, however, stated that the arrest of the suspects followed the discreet investigation by his men, adding that investigations have further revealed that the members of the syndicate were behind series of child stealing in the state, including that of Nmachukwu Ebiowu.
Stating that the suspects would be charged to court as soon as the investigations are completed, the state police boss lamented that investigation further revealed that the syndicate has turned child stealing into a family business.
The commissioner of police stated that investigation further showed that on 22nd July, 2018, the second suspect, Chimezue Nwaefuru, abducted one Chrismidi Udetore, age three years and took the victim to his father, who, according to the state police boss, usually sent him to steal children with his bicycle which he purposely bought for him so that he would be using it to lure children to enable him catch them.
The commissioner of police stated that following a search further conducted in the house of the fleeing suspect, Mrs Okwosa, by detectives attached to the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department, four other children, whose ages ranged from three to six years, were recovered.
He stated that all the children have been taken to the motherless babies’ home for safe custody.
Pledging that his command would ensure the arrest of the fleeing suspect so that she would face the full weight of the law, Mr Umar, urged parents, whose children were either stolen or missing, to report at the State CIID, Awka for identification of those children already found.