Kenya arrests three health workers after BBC Africa Eye exposé
Police in Kenya have arrested three senior medical officers for allegedly running a child-trafficking syndicate following a BBC investigation into the theft and sale of babies.
BBC Africa Eye revealed children were stolen to order from illegal clinics and at a Nairobi public hospital.
The babies were sold for as little as $400 (£300).
The police chief has ordered an investigation into hospitals, as well as children’s homes in Nairobi.
Investigations have revealed that senior medical officers were closely involved with child traffickers, said Inspector General of Police Hillary Mutyambai.
The suspects have not commented.
The investigation by BBC Africa Eye uncovered a trade in children stolen from vulnerable mothers living on the street, as well as the existence of illegal clinics dotted around the capital, Nairobi, where babies are sold for as little as $400.
The investigation also revealed corruption at Mama Lucy Kibaki, a public hospital in Nairobi.
Fred Leparan, a clinical social worker at the hospital, facilitated the sale of an abandoned two-week-old baby boy to undercover reporters, later accepting 300,000 shillings ($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 are 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.