Three senior medical officers in Kenya have been arrested by the police for allegedly running a child-trafficking syndicate, following a BBC investigation into the theft and sale of babies.
An investigative report by BBC Africa Eye revealed how babies were stolen to order from illegal clinics and at a Nairobi public hospital and sold for as little as US$400 (£300).
Kenya’s Inspector General of Police Hillary Mutyambai said three medical officers from a public hospital had been arrested, with a high possibility of more arrests to come.
The investigation by BBC Africa Eye uncovered a trade in children stolen from vulnerable mothers living on the streets, as well as the existence of illegal clinics dotted around the capital, Nairobi, where babies are sold for as little as US$400.
The investigation also revealed alleged corruption at Mama Lucy Kibaki, a public hospital in Nairobi.
Fred Leparan, a clinical social worker at the hospital, is alleged to have facilitated the sale of an abandoned two-week-old baby boy to undercover reporters, later accepting 300,000 shillings (US$2,700; £2,000) in cash.
Both Mr. Leparan and Mama Lucy Kibaki hospital declined requests to comment on the investigation’s findings.
Speaking at a press conference on Tuesday, Kenya’s Labour and Social Protection Minister Simon Chelugui said the culprits would face the “full force of the law”.
Mr. Chelugui also acknowledged that improvements to some of Kenya’s child protection services were needed.
His colleague in the Interior Ministry Fred Matiang’i thanked the BBC for exposing the “rot” at Mama Lucy hospital. He added that human and drug trafficking were the biggest challenges Kenyan security was dealing with.
There are no reliable statistics on child trafficking in the East African state, but a non-governmental organisation, Missing Child Kenya, said it had been involved in nearly 600 cases in the past three years. (Source: BBC)