The police in Rivers State have arrested 15 suspects over alleged involvement in child trafficking.
The Commissioner of Police, Zaki Ahmed, disclosed that the intelligence unit of the command, acting on a tip off, stormed four baby factories in the state and arrested the operators, including 12 pregnant young girls.
Ahmed said one of the alleged baby factory operators, Gloria Raphael, a General Overseer of Mount Sinai Ministry at Rukpokwu in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of the state, was arrested with about six pregnant women in her care, alleging that she and her accomplice (Esther Joseph and Maureen Martins) have been in the business of child trafficking until their arrest on September 28.
The police boss, while briefing journalists on the development yesterday, said investigation are on to unravel other suspects in connection with the crime.
Ahmed said the General Overseer of Omega Power Ministry, Apostle Chinyere Chibuzor, has volunteered to shelter and rehabilitate the pregnant women.
Meanwhile, The Guardian gathered that one Mr. ThankGod Nduka, a chemist vendor, links girls who come to buy drugs for abortion to a pastor, one Mrs. Esther Joseph, who harbours them and thereafter, sells the babies to prospective clients and settle the victims afterwards.
Narrating their experience, ThankGod Nduka, a native of Apabu, said: “One Blessing came to my shop to buy drug for abortion for her pregnancy and while she was still asking for the drug, a woman (Esther Joseph), entered and on hearing the conversation offered to help her”.
On her part, Esther Joseph, a proprietor of God’s Time Ministry, in Omagwa admitted to have been harbouring pregnant ladies.
Also, a 40-year-old Glory Raphael, the owner of Mount Sinai in Mile 3, Diobu, Port Harcourt, also confessed to the crime, disclosing that she works with Maureen Martins, a nurse who run a maternity home at Okocha street, in Rumuolumeni.
Some of the pregnant girls who spoke with The Guardian said hard times and rejection pushed them into the act.
A 23-year-old Amarachi Isaac, who is four months pregnant, said: “My boyfriend died after I got pregnant, so his siblings took me to the ministry run by Mummy Glory.
She gave me a 21-days prayer to be done in her ministry and that was where I was when the police came and arrested me.”
Others arrested include Gift Ufomba, 24 and Favour Gabriel, 17 among others.