A Kenyan medical worker who was caught by the BBC attempting to sell a newborn was sentenced to 25 years in prison.
Fred Leparan, a nurse at Nairobi’s Mama Lucy Kibaki hospital, was caught on camera collecting $2,500 (£2,000) for the sale of a baby boy in the hospital’s care.
He was caught in 2020 and convicted of child trafficking, child maltreatment, and criminal conspiracy.
Selina Adundo, his co-accused, was sentenced to six years in prison or a $2,000 fine.
After learning from a source that the senior clinical social worker at the government-run hospital was involved in illicit child trafficking, an Africa Eye reporter approached Leparan masquerading as a possible buyer.
Before agreeing to sell the newborn boy, Leparan questioned the undercover reporter, who stated she and her husband had difficulty to conceive, simply a few questions about their circumstances.
On the day that the infant boy and two other children were due to be moved from the hospital to a state-run children’s home, Leparan was caught on camera manipulating the transfer papers so that the home would only get two children instead of three.
The BBC crew made certain that all three children were brought directly to their homes, but they also videotaped Leparan changing the papers and informed them that the kid was theirs to keep.
On Wednesday, a Kenyan court sentenced Leparan to 25 years in jail followed by 10 years on probation.
Adundo, who also worked at the hospital, was found guilty on three charges of child maltreatment but acquitted on the charge of child trafficking.
The court has warned that Leparan and Adundo should never be allowed to handle any child-related concerns.
Despite extremely solid evidence against Leparan, this case has gone on for more than two years.
He was able to retain one of Kenya’s strongest legal defenses, but finally admitted that the BBC’s undercover tape was of him.
In Kenya, there are little credible statistics on the degree of child trafficking.
According to Florence Bore, the country’s Labour and Social Protection Minister, almost 6,000 children went missing between July 2022 and May 2023.
Ms Bore said earlier this week that the government will close all privately operated orphanages and children’s homes over the next eight years in order to combat child trafficking.