BY SUNNY A. DAVID
In what could be referred to as MIRACLE, seven women who allegedly faked blindness, using innocent children to extort money from unsuspecting members of the public, suddenly started seeing when Police rounded them up.
Twenty–two children believed to be from the South-East States of Anambra, Imo, Abia and Ebonyi were also rescued from being used for street begging by the supposedly blind women.
The women who are said to be child traffickers, having deceived the children’s parents that they were taking them to school, and the children were arrested by the Police after a tip-off in the busy city of Warri, Delta State.
Permanent Secretary of Delta Ministry of Women Affairs, Community Development and Social Services, Mrs. Kevwe Agas, explained that the suspects allegedly deceived the parents of the children that they were coming to Delta for educational purposes.
The Police excorted the 22 children in a bus and seven women suspects in a separate Sienna bus to the State Police Headquarters in Asaba.
Mrs. Agas said, “FIDA drew our attention to the fact that there were some children on Airport Road, Warri, begging, and that three of them went specifically to a lady that sells close by who told them that some women brought them to Warri to beg, but that they actually told their parents that they were bringing them to school.
“And since they came to Warri, they have been begging and sleeping on the streets. In addition to FIDA, our officers went to the Police and we got the Police to arrest them.
“We rescued 22 children and arrested seven women who feigned blindness. Upon investigation, we discovered that the women were not even blind but were just feigning it and using the children to beg on the streets.
“So we brought them to Asaba and we are taking them to the Police Headquarters. We are going re-unite the children with their families in their respective States. The children are from Anambra, Ebonyi, Imo and Abia States, that is what we have been able to establish.
“The women would be prosecuted because there is a Child Right Law in Delta State that prohibits begging and exploitation of children. Even NAPTIP would be involved in this because it has to do with trafficking.”