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Nigerian man arrested in Nairobi for child trafficking

A Nigerian man, his wife and his lover are being held at the Central Police Station in Nairobi, for suspicion of child trafficking.

The three were arrested on Tuesday, as they tried to acquire a passport for a three weeks old baby boy to enable him to travel to Italy.

Police said John Marcellus, 43, the woman he claims to be his wife, Tarsillah Karimi, 56 and Jackline Vosevwa were arrested after officers from the immigration department alerted the police.

On arrest, the man said he wanted to take the baby so that he can take care of him with his wife in Italy, since the real mother of the baby, who was his lover, is financially incapable, as he had another child who is two years and handicapped.

The suspicion came after some documents submitted to the Immigration Department showed that Jackline had been visiting hospitals, clinics and others, using Tarsillah’s name.

Central Police Station Division Criminal Investigation Officer (DCIO), Kiberenge Seroney said the three were still under investigation and they would be taken to court soon as the police complete their investigations.


Documents seen by the Daily Nation indicate that the baby was born 27, March, a day after Ms Tarsillah Karimi arrived in the country.

The birth certificate issued indicate that the child’s mother is Tarsillah Karimi and the father is John Marcellus.

All the clinic attendance documents issued while Tarsillah was still outside the country, show that the child was taken to clinic by her.

Also, Jackline visited the Clini-Path Medical Centre on October 9 last year to have pathological tests conducted on her but used Tarsillah’s name.

Documents from the Immigration Department show that Tarsillah arrived in the country on March, 25, 2016.

Senior Children’s Officer Francis Ogolla said that the three had given several contradicting information to the officers at the immigration department.

“They have lied about the biological parents of the child and we suspect that they have been doing this. We are still working with the immigration to establish whether they have taken other children outside the country,” Mr Ogolla said.


He said the three, in their defense, said that they had had a written agreement on who will have custody of the child.

A hand-written letter dated October 3, 2016, and purportedly signed by the three ‘to whom it may concern’, state that the three had agreed that John and Tarsillah will take the baby away from the mother upon birth.

The letter which despite having three sections, each with a declaration from each of the suspects, is suspected to have been written by one person. Police are also questioning whether all the three were in Kenya during the writing of the letter, which contained no signature from any authority.

Another hand-written letter titled ‘letter of delegation’, and purportedly signed by the three on March, 29 this year, that was three days after the delivery of the child, to hand over the child to the ‘couple’. We could not establish whether the child was breastfeeding by the time he was taken to the children’s home.

Police are also investigating whether Tarsillah and John are married, as none of their travel documents showed so.

The child who was taken to the Thomas Barnados Children’s home in Nairobi, awaiting DNA analysis to establish whether indeed Jackline is the biological mother.