Four months after the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) busted a series of baby-harvesting and child-trafficking syndicates in Accra, more people have stepped forward with horrifying tales of missing babies.
At least six more persons have reported of their missing babies at various health centres in Accra, some accusing the man allegedly at the centre of the baby stealing syndicate, Dr Hope Mensah Quarshie, of being a culprit.
They are Jerry Nii Ansah, Richard Kofi Jordan and four other persons whose names are being withheld for security reasons.
The Executive Director of EOCO, Commissioner of Police, Mr Frank Adu-Poku (retd), told the Daily Graphic last week that on January 25 this year, a female banker who was transferred to the 37 Military Hospital from the Holy Trinity Hospital was referred to the Susan Clinic at Laterbiokorshie in Accra by the doctor on duty, Dr Quarshie.
Susan Clinic is the private health facility of Dr Quarshie, who doubles as a medical officer at the 37 Military Hospital.
The banker told EOCO that after a natural delivery and the cry of her baby, she was taken to the recovery ward only to be informed later that the baby’s lungs were not properly formed and therefore the baby could not survive and the body had been disposed of without her knowledge and consent.
The EOCO boss said other complaints against Dr Quarshie were under investigations.
Set of twins
Mr Adu-Poku said investigations were also ongoing on complaints filed by the General Secretary of the Mortuary Workers Union of Ghana, Mr Kofi Jordan, who said his wife, Faith Esenam Agbenyo (now deceased) delivered a set of twins when she was transferred from the Danfa Health Centre to the Tetteh Quarshie Hospital at Mampong in the Eastern Region.
He was later told by a midwife that his babies had died in the process and that he should not bother taking the bodies home since there was a man who could dispose of the bodies at a fee of GH¢15.
According to Mr Adu-Poku, the complainant later read on the weighing card that they had been given two live babies to take home.
He became alarmed and reached out to the mortuary attendant who is said to have all the records of deaths and burial since the inception of the hospital but the attendant denied knowledge, explaining that the hospital had no burial place and so the babies could not have been buried there.
Mr Adu-Poku said his outfit was also charging a pastor, Juliet Addo Edith, for baby stealing and human trafficking.
He said EOCO had a tip-off that Madam Edith had held naming ceremonies for two boys, aged two years and six months, although she was not pregnant and that the community members suspected her of child stealing and trafficking at maternity homes.
Dr Quarshie is currently recovering from COVID-19 complications at the 37 Military Hospital in Accra. His docket is yet to be sent to the Attorney-General’s Office for prosecution to begin.
He will likely face charges of baby stealing, concealment of body of child at birth and operating a health facility without a licence.
There are 11 suspects in all that include two doctors, four nurses, two mothers, two social welfare officers and a traditional birth attendant.
Mr Adu-Poku further stated that a social worker at the adoption unit of the Greater Accra Regional Office of the Department of Social Welfare, Mr Leonard Agbley, and five others would also face charges for engaging in unlawful sale of babies and illegal adoption.
The others are the Head of Social Welfare at the Tema General Hospital, Ms Doris Badu, and a medical doctor at the Ridge Hospital, Dr Noah Lartey, who doubles as a medical director at the Dangme Community Clinic in Accra.
The rest are a nursing officer at the Neo-Natal Intensive Care Unit at the Tema General Hospital, Ms Nelly E. Tagoe; an administrator at the Dangme Community Clinic, Mr Ebenezer Amarboi Amarteifio, and one Ms Nancy Frimpong.
“These people face possible charges of conspiracy to commit crime contrary to section 24 of the Criminal Offences Act, 1960, Act 29”, Mr Adu-Poku said.
He said their docket had been forwarded to the Legal and Prosecution Unit for advice while Baby Louisa is currently at a Children’s Home in Accra.