The four children from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) who are alleged to be potential victims of child trafficking are in the custody of the Ndola District Child Protection unit (CPU).
CPU Committee Charles Mwambo has told ZANIS in Ndola in a phone interview that the children are being kept at undisclosed location for safety until the case is disposed of by the court.
Pastor Mwambo disclosed that the children aged between 6 months and 3 years were retrieved by the committee in December last year when the suspects in the case were arrested.
He said the committee has since secured school places for the three older children within the locality they are being kept and they have since adapted to the environment.
“We are managing to take care of the children and resources have since been mobilized thanks to the government.
The only challenge has been the language barrier as they only speak French and lingala but with lessons they are attending they are speaking few English words,” he said.
And Pastor Mwambo said no family has come through to claim the children as it is believed that they were drawn from an orphanage.
He disclosed that it was only last week that officials from DRC visited to check on the children and did ask for permission to have them retrieved and taken back to their country of origin.
He said the officials were advised to wait until the court heard the case and hear its determination.
“Our Fear is that the children may be re – trafficked and it is just impossible to release them when the case is active in court.
We have since restricted access to the children to both government officials and media,”he said.
Last year in December officers from the Immigration Department did apprehend eight Croatian nationals at Simon Mwansa Kapwepwe Airport in Ndola on suspicion of child trafficking and document forgery.
This is because the validity of the documents on the adoption of minor children from the Democratic Republic of the Congo was questionable.
The suspects have since been formally arrested and charged with offence of child trafficking and have been appearing in court.
The accused are Gloria Sakulenga, 36,a senior immigration officer jointltly charged with Croatians Damir Magdic, 44, an electrical technician, Nadica Magdic, 45, a technician, Zoran Subosic, 52, a musician, Azra Imamovic Subosic, 41, an administrator, Ladislav Perisic, 42, a medical doctor, Aleksandra Persic, 43, a hair salon attendant, Noah Kraljevic, 40, a program director and Ivona Kraljevic, 36, a dog handler.