Mombasa, KENYA: A couple has been charged at Shanzu law courts in Mombasa for allegedly stealing three children.
Magret Juma Magero and David Ochieng Ometho are alleged to be among a transnational child trafficking syndicate ooperating in East Africa.
Court heard that on 18th March 2009 at Maweni village in Kisauni within Mombasa County, the accused persons jointly with others not before court, fraudulently took Lilian Akinyi’s daughter aged 7 years.
They were also charged with stealing Sidi Mwamumbo’s 5-year-old daughter on 4th April 2011 at Bamburi area in Kisauni sub county within Mombasa County.
The two accused persons faced another charge of stealing a child aged one and a half year by the name baby Brian; whose parents were yet to be identified.
They pleaded not guilty to all the charges before Shanzu principal magistrate Diana Mochache.
Magret Juma Magero was arrested on 27th October in Nairobi while David Ochieng Ometho was arrested on 17th November 2016 at his rural home in Ugenya, Siaya County where he is believed to have been hiding, when he got information that his wife was arrested.
According to the children statements, on 2nd October 2016, one of the children reportedly ran away from the Kibera Katwekera home and was found at Kamukunji area.
One of the child said that she was kidnapped in 2012 on her way from school in Ukunda area.
The investigation officers had travelled to Mombasa and Siaya, where they traced the parents of the two children whom had recorded statements.
Prosecution informed the court that the two accused persons should not be released on bond, as they might interfere with witnesses.
Court also heard that there was a possibilty that the accused could have been engaging in international child trafficking, since the accused persons had some contacts in Switzerland, whom they were in good relations with.
Mochache ordered the accused persons be detained for two weeks; pending investigations, before ruling on bail.