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Two women charged with children stealing syndicate in Eldoret

Two women suspected to have been involved in a children stealing syndicate have been charged at an Eldoret court.

Police said that they have been tracking the suspects since 2022 after several attempts to steal children born at Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital and other hospitals in Uasin Gishu County were reported.

According to an investigating officer who did not want to be named due to sensitivity of the investigations that he is conducting in Uasin Gishu, the cartels involved in the syndicate are targeting street urchins and teen mothers.

“Majority of teen mothers targeted are school going children who give birth to children while in school as well as street urchin mothers,” said the officer on anonymity.

Following investigations that have been going on in relation to a children trafficking syndicate in Eldoret town and its environs, the two were arrested and charged with stealing a minor from her mother.

The duo, Sally Chebet Tanui ,50 and Clare Chelagat Mulwa,30 were charged with stealing a six days old baby girl from Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital after masquerading to be genuine relatives to the teen mother who gave birth to the minor.

The charge sheet stated that the duo stole the minor on November 15, 2022 in Eldoret town.

Ms Tanui, a relative to the mother of the stolen child is alleged to have conspired with the co-accused to steal the baby.

The minor’s mother was then a form four student at high school in Elodret.

Statement available in court indicates that they manipulated the complainant into lying that the minor died at the hospital.

The accused, who were represented by lawyer Maathai Maina, denied the charges before Senior Principal Magistrate Peter Areri.

They were also charged with another charge of giving false information to a public service officer employed at MTRH.

The court heard that on November 15, 2022 at MTRH they gave false information to Dr James Ndung’u an employee of MTRH in relation to the stolen child.

Prosecution objected to their release on bond by informing the court that the accused were found with four other children whose maternity is questionable and they are still investigating them to ascertain whether they are parents to the four.

The four are aged between 10 and 11 years.

However, their lawyer challenged the application to deny his client’s bond noting that the reasons given by prosecution to deny them bond were not legally binding.

The magistrate released each of the accused on Sh150,000 with similar surety.

The matter will be mentioned on June 26, 2023 for further directions on pre-trial process.

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