Undercover police arrest woman selling her baby for Sh80,000

The newborn’s mother had received part of the Sh80,000 proceeds from ‘selling’ her baby. [Photo: Kipsang Joseph/Standard]

The newborn’s mother had received part of the Sh80,000 proceeds from ‘selling’ her baby. [Photo: Kipsang Joseph/Standard]

A 26-year-old woman was Thursday arrested in Nakuru attempting to sell a day-old baby to start a vegetable business.

The woman (name withheld), who gave birth on Wednesday, was arrested after she struck a deal with a man who had posed as an ‘interested buyer’ and his wife – who in actual sense was an undercover police officer.

Following a tip off from officers from the Children’s department in Nakuru led by a children’s officer, Mr David Wawire, The Standard followed the unfolding drama from a Nakuru Hospital where the baby was delivered to a hotel in town where the deal was sealed and the suspect arrested.

The woman is said to have struck a deal with Mr David Mwagi, who tipped off the police.

Mwagi, who runs a children’s home in Nakuru, said the woman approached him long before she delivered, offering to sell the baby for Sh80,000.

On several occasions during the bargaining, she threatened to strike a deal with another buyer at the hospital if payments were not made in full.

Mwagi and the police played along.

“It was a hard job and we had to provide for her upkeep for the last three months of the pregnancy to keep the baby safe,” said one of the officers who posed as Mwagi’s spouse during the negotiations.

On Wednesday evening, the woman, who lives at Mawanga estate went into labour, and her neighbours who knew about her ‘deal,’ notified the police.

The woman, unaware of the trap, called Mwagi as soon as her labour pains began, informing him that the deal was almost ripe.

According to Mwagi, the woman instructed him to arrive at the hospital as soon as she was discharged.

On how to deal with her husband – whom she claimed to be negligent and abusive -, the woman told Mwagi that she would tell him the baby died soon after delivery.

Around 1pm, the new mother stepped out of hospital with her baby wrapped warmly and hospital documentation showing the birth of the baby boy who had not been given a name.

On phone, the woman agreed to meet Mwagi and his ‘wife’ at a nearby hotel where the transaction was to be finalised.

Show remorse

In an undated agreement binding both the buyer and the seller, Mwagi was to pay Sh46,000 on the spot and settle the rest   through MPesa.

It also stated that the seller would not claim the baby back immediately after the transaction was complete.

After chatting briefly, the woman swiftly signed the agreement, received the cash and handed over the baby to Mwagi’s ‘wife’.

To her dismay, undercover police sprung into action and arrested her.

The ‘baby-trader’ did not show remorse. Asked why she was quick to sign the deal, she said she did not even read it because she had already decided to sell the newborn.

She said she needed the money to set up a stall to sell vegetables, and that her husband of one year was abusive and did not provide for her and their two-year-old daughter.

“I wanted the money to start up a vegetable stall so that I can be able to fend for myself,” she said.

The woman is expected to be arraigned in court tomorrow to face charges of selling her baby.

In the meantime, the baby has been placed in a children’s home.

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