Air Peace botches attempted trafficking of 3-day-old baby


Ime Akpan

Air Peace crew has put paid to an attempt by a middle-aged female passenger to traffic a three-day-old baby boy on its Port Harcourt-Lagos flight.

NewsGazette gathered that the suspect had booked Air Peace Flight P4 7393 on Sunday.

A source who craved anonymity told NewsGazette that the suspect had booked Air Peace Flight P4 7393 on Sunday.

During boarding, a female crew member, Ms. Mojoko Ewane was said to have observed that the suspect was fidgety with the baby.

The source said the airline staff became suspicious and decided to interrogate the passenger.

“When she (suspect) was questioned at the boarding door of the aircraft, the suspect claimed the baby was three days old.

“When the suspect was asked to breastfeed the baby, she could not as there was no breast milk.

‘The suspect tried to create a scene, rallying other passengers on the flight to prevail on Air Peace crew to allow her fly, but the crew stood their ground.

“When the crew informed the suspect that the carrier’s standard operating procedure bars them from allowing passengers fly with a week-old baby on grounds of health, she claimed to be a nurse and insisted that the baby’s health would not be jeopardized,” said a source.

Not satisfied with the suspect’s explanation, the airline invited the personnel of the Department of State Services (DSS) at the airport to take over the case for further investigation.

During interrogation, it was learnt that the suspect told the DSS personnel that the baby was born on January 5 and provided some other information which fueled the suspicion that the baby was stolen.

“The suspect said she gave birth to the baby shortly after travelling from Lagos to Port Harcourt on an Air Peace flight on January 5.

“A call was later placed to the contact numbers the suspect said belonged to her husband and the doctor who handled the birth of the child.

“While the alleged husband claimed that his wife was actually pregnant, the alleged doctor’s number rang but there was no response.”

A DSS source in Port Harcourt who craved anonymity told NewsGazette that the suspect had been transferred to the zonal office of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State for further action.

He said the suspect had confessed that a lady gave her the baby.

Spokesman for the airline, Mr. Chris Iwarah who confirmed the incident said the airline was proud of its crew’s professionalism in discharging of its duties.


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