LIBERIA: Human Trafficking On the Rise in Liberia, Mother Sells Daughter for L$120,000.00

Thursday, August 15, 2013
Western Africa
PeaceWomen Consolidated Themes: 
General Women, Peace and Security
Sexual and Gender-Based Violence

A mother of a three year old baby identified as Kadiatu Momoh Sheriff, a resident of Mobi Village in Sierra Leone has been arrested by officers of the Women and Children Protection Section of the Liberia National Police and charged with endangering the welfare of a child and illicit trafficking of humans in Liberia.

Her arrest follows the arrest of a Lebanese national Anthony Kassabli and his aging father both of whom are charged with human trafficking and are currently behind bars at the Monrovia Central Prison awaiting prosecution.

The Women and Children Protection Section of the LNP where the defendant has been undergoing investigation stated that the accused was arrested from the Mobi Village in Sierra Leone on August 3, 2013 by the Sierra Leonean Interpol through the Interpol of the Liberia National Police based on complaint by her husband Bockarie Sheriff that his wife Kadiatu had escaped with his three- month old baby identified as Jartu Sheriff to an unknown location.

In the charge sheet from the WACP's section of the LNP quoting the husband Sheriff revealed that after the incident he (Sheriff) received information from his brother-in -law identified as Dominic Momoh that the defendant had travelled to Monrovia but did not disclosed the actual location.

Subsequently, the complaint Bockarie Sheriff averred that he received a phone call from his mother also identified as Madam Jartu Sheriff of Mobi Village that the defendant Kadiatu reported to her parents that the three-month-old baby died while on her way travelling from Liberia to Sierra Leone and buried her at the Bo-WaterSide border with Liberia.

The complaint Boackarie Sheriff who is residing in Voinjama, Lofa County also noted that after some people had gone to sympathize with his bereaved family he got a tip off that his wife was lodging with a man identified as Keita in the Bardnesville area after escaping with the child from Voinjama.

He claimed that when Keita was contacted denied having any idea of a child's death but disclosed that seeing the defendant with a black plastic bag without child while enroute to Sierra Leone.

The complainant mentioned that when he visited the defendant in Mobi Village on July 28, 2013 the defendant Kadiatu revealed that the child was still alive but was being adopted by one Reverend identified as Oretha Davis for the amount of US$120.000.00 in Monrovia

According to the WACP section of the LNP during preliminary investigation conducted defendant Kadiatu Momoh admitted giving the three-month-old baby to Rev. Oretha Davis at the JFK Hospital while Rev Oretha Davis also admitted that she gave the amount to the defendant for adoption of the child.

At the same time the Women and Children Protection Section of the LNP says it has retreated L$62,000.00 of the amount given to the defendant.

On Wednesday the two defendants were arraigned before the Monrovia City Court at the Temple of Justice duly charged with human trafficking and subsequently sent to jail at the Monrovia Central Prison pending prosecution while the child is in the care of the WACPS.