EOCO GRABS MOTHER IN BABY SALE SAGA
The investigations by the Medical and Dental Council (MDC) in collaboration with the Economic and Organized Crime Office (EOCO) into the baby harvesting saga appears to be making some progress.
This is because they have been able to locate a mother of one of the babies involved in the illicit trade and have been interrogating her.
Information gathered by the media indicated that the woman (named withheld for investigation purposes) was traced to Nkawkaw in the Eastern Region and brought to Accra to give her statement last Wednesday.
On January 20, the EOCO and the MDC announced at a joint news conference that they had been able to smash a baby harvesting syndicate; and said two medical doctors, four nurses and four others were being investigated for the illegal activity.
They identified the doctors as Dr. Hope Mensah Quarshie of the 37 Military Hospital in Accra and Dr. Noah Kofi Lartey of the Greater Accra Regional Hospital, Ridge, Accra.
The nurses were also identified as Sylvia Awuseh, John Adorey Effie, Angela Ametepe and Stella Deli.
Similarly, Leonard Agbley and Doris Badu, both social workers, as well as Dede Gifty Anikpi, a traditional birth attendant from Bethlehem Maternity at Santoe, a suburb of Kpone Katamanso, were arrested.
A lady called Nancy Obaa Yaa believed to be a mother of one of the babies was also in trouble and was also picked up late last year.
Two of the babies, a four months old and another under one month, whose ‘harvesting’ triggered the EOCO and MDC investigation, were currently safe in the custody of the authorities.
Executive Director of the EOCO, COP (Rtd) Frank Adu-Poku and Dr. Divine N. Banyubala, Acting Registrar of the MDC, said both organizations had been investigating the activities of some medical practitioners, nurses and social welfare officers suspected to be behind the illegal act of baby harvesting and human trafficking since 2014.
The EOCO Boss had indicated that they stepped up their investigation after news of disappearance of a baby at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) in Kumasi, and added that they carried out investigations into the instant illegal activities between June and November 2020.
COP (Rtd) Adu-Poku continued that on Thursday, December 31, 2020, the team arrested Dr. Quarshie who worked at the 37 Military Hospital at his private health facility, Susan Clinic, at Lartebiokorshie in Accra together with suspects Ms. Awuseh, Mr. Effie and Ms. Ametepe, who were also nurses at the said private facility.
“Dr Quarshie is alleged to have sold a baby boy to a buyer at a cost of GH¢30,000,” he stated.
The executive Director of EOCO continued that on January 15, 2021, their investigations led to the arrest of Ms. Anikpi and their findings revealed that she referred the mother of the first baby to Dr. Quarshie of Susan Clinic.
He said Dr. Lartey, who worked at the Ridge Hospital in Accra but operated a private hospital called Dangbe Community Hospital, was also arrested on January 5, 2021.
COP Adu-Poku said suspect also sold a baby at a cost of GH¢28,000.
He said the second baby was supplied by Dr. Lartey to Mr. Agbley and Ms. Badu, both social welfare officers at the Tema General Hospital to facilitate the sale of the baby.
The two social workers, the EOCO boss revealed, were arrested on December 31, 2020.
He maintained that the investigating teams had also arrested mothers of both babies who were assisting them with their investigations, saying “both babies sold by the suspects were in good health and suspects had also been granted bail pending trial.”
Dr. Banyubala said the licences of both doctors had been withheld pending the outcome of the investigations.
He said the council would continue to collaborate with EOCO to ensure that the “bad doctors” who used the noble profession to perpetrate criminal activities were arrested and prosecuted.
Meanwhile, he said the nurses had been handed over to the Nurses and Midwifery Council to act upon their conducts.