Police rescue 24 minors locked in woman’s house

Tharaka-Nithi Police Commander Johnston Ipara said some of the children come from as far away as Igoji in Meru County.

Friday January 15 2016

Tharaka-Nithi County Police Commander Johnston Ipara addresses journalists in his office in Chuka town on January 15, 2016 after police found 24 children locked in a house in Muchatha. PHOTO | ALEX NJERU

Tharaka-Nithi County Police Commander Johnston Ipara addresses journalists in his office in Chuka town on January 15, 2016 after police found 24 children locked in a house in Muchatha. PHOTO | ALEX NJERU  

By ALEX NJERU
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Police acting on a tip-off have rescued 24 children aged between five and 14 years from a house in Muchatha, Tharaka-Nithi County, in what is believed to be a case of human trafficking.

The officers raided the house of Ms Judith Mwaromo, 40, at around 12pm on Friday and found the children — 10 boys and 14 girls — sleeping on mattresses spread on the floor of the house.

However, Ms Mwaromo told the police that the children were staying with her as she sought sponsors who could fund their studies.

Tharaka-Nithi Police Commander Johnston Ipara said some of the children come from as far away as Igoji in Meru County.

"Most of the children are not able to express themselves, but some know where they come from," said Mr Ipara.

RICH PEOPLE

He said the woman could not identify the children by name and that they had all been taken to the Chuka Police Station as investigations begin.

Mr Ipara said police suspect a group of people could be involved in trafficking the children, saying the woman would assist the police in unravelling the matter.

"There is an indication that rich people are involved in this business because the mattresses are new and each child has a metallic box," he said.

The police boss asked chiefs and village elders to be alert and share any information with the police so that they can curb such incidents.

He also asked locals to embrace the Nyumba Kumi initiative so they could monitor activities in their neighbourhoods.

Mr Ipara said once investigations are completed, the suspect will be charged.

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