By Chinedu Eze
Air Peace crew members on Monday foiled an attempt by two women to traffic a three-month-old baby boy on the carrierâ€™s Lagos-Banjul flight.
Sources said the suspected traffickers were exposed mid-flight when the airlineâ€™s crew members noticed a baby crying inconsolably.
THISDAY learnt that attempts by one of the suspected traffickers, who claimed to be the babyâ€™s mother, to soothe him failed.Â Â
An informed source disclosed that when the crew members suggested to the suspected trafficker to breastfeed the baby, she declined.
Scared that the babyâ€™s cries were attracting attention, the woman who claimed to be his mother requested for water from the crew.
The crew, however, noticed that the alleged mother was fumbling in giving the baby the water.
THISDAY also learnt that the name of alleged mother of the baby was Mrs. Ibeneme Edith Omon Anthony.
The airline said the alleged trafficker had a return ticket (Banjul-Lagos-Banjul) and disclosed that she travelled into Lagos from Banjul alone.
She, however, added the baby boy whose name was identified as Prince Dominion David Anthony, to her ticket when leaving Nigeria on Monday.
Mrs. Anthony was accompanied by one Mrs. Andy Emrald Bassey who claimed to be a pastor.
Informed source from the flight narrated that when suspicion grew that the baby was either stolen or being trafficked, the crew summoned the alleged traffickers to the back of the aircraft for questioning.
They allegedly told the crew members that the baby was a child from a surrogacy arrangement.
Dissatisfied with the response, the crew notified Air Peace team at the Banjul International Airport in The Gambia of the development.
When the flight landed in Banjul, Air Peace staff accosted the two alleged traffickers and the two women were separately questioned.
They gave conflicting accounts of how they came about the baby.
THISDAY learnt that the Air Peace staff in Banjul quickly called for the intervention of Banjul International Airport (BIA) Police Station and the suspected traffickers were promptly arrested.
A source alleged that medical tests conducted by security operatives in Banjul showed no relationship between the baby and the woman who claimed to be his mother.Â Â
Another source said the two women later claimed that the baby was being taken to his father in Banjul, but the alleged father told security operatives that the baby was his.
He, however, could not provide documents at the police station in Banjul to prove his claim, so he was asked to undertake a DNA test to prove his claim.
The alleged father told the police that the DNA test would be conducted in Nigeria, it was learnt. A source told newsmen that The Gambia Police rejected the alleged fatherâ€™s decision to do the test in Nigeria, insisting they could not trust the medical result from the country. Police in Banjul, reporters were told, insisted on the DNA test must be conducted in The Gambia.
The Nigerian High Commission in The Gambia is said to have been informed of the incident.