Police Nabbs Suspected Child Trafficker, Rescued Six Abducted Children

By Celestine Okeh, Abakaliki

Ebonyi State Police Command said, it has arrested  a suspected kidnapper,  Mercy Francis, who was alleged to Youth Corp member for kidnapping two children at Igbegu, izzi Local Government Area of the state and rescued six children from the abductor.

In a statement from the police public relation officer, DSP Joshua Ukandu, on Tuesday, revealed that other parents whose children were abducted also identified them.
Here him;

"On January 21, 2024, one Nkwuda Francis reported to the command that a woman, initially identified as Mercy Francis, allegedly a youth corps member, had kidnapped two young children from his house in Nwezenyi Igbeagu, Izzi LGA, Ebonyi State after she rented a room in the compound. The children, aged 3 and 7, were later found to have been taken by Ngozi Blessing Abia, which was revealed to be the suspect’s true identity. Following a diligent investigation by officers attached to the gender unit of the command, the suspect was located in Oba, Anambra State, where the children were rescued and returned to their family.

"In a related case, Lovina Iwuorah and Ndifereke wisdom Clement, mothers whose children had been similarly abducted in Ohaozara LGA of Ebonyi State, identified the suspect as the conspirator in the disappearance of their three children, aged between 1 and 3 years old. The investigation led officers to Benin City, where the children were found in an orphanage. The proprietor of the orphanage has been detained and is providing valuable information to the police.

"Additionally, Chinasa Uwezoke from Lagos, upon learning of the arrest, visited the command and identified the suspect as someone who had gained her trust and subsequently took her three children to the market, only to flee with her 3-year-old son. The boy was later recovered and reunited with his family after being sold by the suspect.

"The suspect's modus operandi is to rent an apartment, fraternize with her unsuspecting neighbours, gain their trust and abduct their children for pecuniary gains.

"The command hereby advises property owners and caretakers to thoroughly screen potential tenants and urges parents to educate their children about safety and stranger interactions".

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