Mombasa woman gives birth, gives away baby to Chinese

From left: Josephine Muthoni, Dr Mahesh Chudasama and Chinese national Neo Kian Fu appearing in a Mombasa court on July 30, 2018 where they are charged attempted child trafficking. Mr Kian was accused of unlawfully adopting a new-born baby with the aim of trafficking it to Singapore. They were released on a Sh1 million bond each. PHOTO | BRIAN OCHARO | NATION MEDIA GROUP

What you need to know:

  • Police said Ms Muthoni had given birth on July 18, 2018 and instructed the hospital staff to give away the baby.
  • Surprisingly, lawyers issued documents pertaining to “legal formalities”.
  • The arrests came at a time when the world is celebrating the World Day against Trafficking in Persons.

A new mother who attempted to give away her baby to a Chinese national immediately after delivery at the Mombasa Hospital has been arrested.

Detectives from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) arrested Josephine Kariuki Muthoni, 27 and two foreigners, a Chinese and a Singaporean, for child trafficking.

Police said Ms Muthoni had given birth on July 18, 2018 and instructed the hospital staff to give away the baby to Chinese nationals Mahesh Chudasama and Neo Kian Fu.

“Officers went to the hospital to inquire about the information and met the mother at the maternity ward and she recorded a statement,” DCI George Kinoti said.

AGREEMENT

In her statement at the DCI, Ms Muthoni alleged that she had made an agreement before a lawyer that she would rent her womb and be paid Sh30,000 per month, Sh28,500 each month for the entire gestation period and a final sum of Sh500,000, after documentation of the child and release through court procedure to the intended parents.

The DCI said after interrogations, two lawyers came and produced a copy of an agreement between the mother and the Chinese couple.

“They produced a copy of a letter from the Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Board allegedly signed by its chairman, Prof George Magoha, and dated November 11, 2016. The letter authorised the doctor the expansion of the spectrum of assisted reproductive technology (ART) service in Mombasa,” the DCI stated.

DOCUMENTS

Surprisingly, lawyers issued documents pertaining to “legal formalities”.

A practicing advocate at the children’s court allegedly processed the papers intended to facilitate the granting of the parental rights.

The 12-day-old baby boy was taken to the Baby Life Rescue Centre pending an application for protection and care at the children’s court in Mombasa.

Section 2 of the Counter-trafficking In Person Act prohibits giving payments or benefits to obtain the consent of the victim of trafficking in persons, or giving or receiving payments or benefits to obtain the consent of a person having control over another person.

Section 4 of the same Act prohibits the adoption or offering a child for adoption, fostering or offering a child for fostering and guardianship to a child or offering a child for guardianship for the purpose of trafficking and states that a person who commits the offence is liable to imprisonment for a term of not less than 30 years or to a fine of not less than Sh20 million or to both and upon conviction, to imprisonment for life.

COMBAT TRAFFICKING

The arrests came at a time when the world is celebrating the World Day against Trafficking in Persons. The event was being celebrated at the UN Complex in Gigiri, Nairobi.

On Monday, Mr Kinoti told the conference that the DCI is keen on enhancing cooperation with other Eastern Africa countries in combating trafficking in persons.

The US State Department ranks Kenya in the tier two watch list for non-compliance with minimum standards for the elimination of human trafficking.

A global alarm raised in June 2014 by the Experts Group at the Hague Convention on inter-country adoptions called on state parties to take action against profit-driven inter-country adoptions and child trafficking.

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