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Team In Nairobi formed to probe child theft after exposé

A multi-agency team of investigators has been put together to look into child trafficking, following a BBC exposé on the theft of babies in Nairobi.

Addressing the press on Tuesday following the story about a thriving enterprise of theft and sale of babies in Nairobi, Labour Cabinet Secretary Simon Chelugui said the team will investigate details from the explosive expose.

He also said Kenya’s hospitals are safe for mothers and their newborns.

The BBC on Monday aired a year-long investigation that documented cases of mothers in Nairobi whose children have disappeared without trace and who are believed to have been abducted by a growing network of baby stealers that sells them for amounts starting from Sh80,000 for a boy and Sh50,000 for a girl.

“A team of officers and experts from various government agencies has been constituted to exhaustively investigate the allegations carried out and take necessary action. We will do everything possible to get to the bottom of the issue of child trafficking,” Mr Chelugui told the press. 

tutions and including violence against children. All these have been designed in this landmark Bill and were obtained from public participations and experience we have gained over time,” said Mr Chelugui.

“We are collaborating with other state agencies like the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI), Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP) and the Judiciary to address child theft issues. We have a special unit in the DCI and children officers to handle children’s cases.

“The Judiciary and the DPP have made progress in establishment of children’s courts … meant to enhance child protection,” said the CS.

Mr Chelugui said the government has elevated the children’s department at the Ministry of Labour to a directorate and appointed a secretary for children’s services.

In the exposé, women narrated their nightmare lives after their children were taken away by a cabal of child thieves who target women living on the streets. The thieves sometimes drug their victims before snatching their children, who are then sold to the highest bidders — mostly desperate childless couples who are sometimes ready to pay a premium for a child due to the shame society puts on childlessness.

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Written by The Editor

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