Chinese, doctor and woman charged with attempt to traffic 12 days old baby

Josephine Muthoni Kariuki, Dr Mahesh Chudasama and Chinese tourist Neo Kian Fu in a Mombasa court where they were charged with attempting to traffic a baby. [Kelvin Karani, Standard]
Three people were yesterday charged with attempting to traffic a 12-day-old boy.

Chinese tourist Neo Kian Fu was charged alongside Dr Mahesh N Chudasama and Josephine Muthoni Kariuki with attempting to traffic the baby to Singapore.

Mr Kian Fu and Ms Kariuki had claimed the baby was their son. The Chinese national has a three-month tourist visa.

Kian Fu told the court his passport was valid and that he was in the country legally.

SEE ALSO :Nakuru police investigate case of child trafficking

Appearing before Senior Principal Magistrate Henry Nyakweba, the three denied the two counts of attempted human trafficking and were released on a bond of Sh1 million with one surety, with an alternative cash bail of Sh100,000 each.

It is alleged that on diverse dates between July 16 and 28, at Mombasa Hospital, Kariuki and Chudasama jointly offered Kian Fu a child for guardianship to facilitate his removal from Kenya to Singapore.

They are also charged with unlawfully adopting a child.

A police report shows Kariuki, 27, entered into a contract worth Sh500,000 to be the surrogate mother for a Chinese couple.

Kariuki, who gave birth to a baby boy named Neo Yu Jie, had agreed to carry Kian Fu's sperm.

SEE ALSO :Detectives rescue 9 suspected victims of child trafficking

It is alleged that Chudasama released the baby to Kian Fu without Kariuki's knowledge after she gave birth at Mombasa Hospital at 3pm on July 18.

In a statement she recorded with the police, she said Kian Fu left the country after donating the sperm.

Kariuki said the arrangement was made in the presence of a lawyer, Muthee Soni. In the agreement, she would rent her womb and be paid Sh30,000 per month.

She said after a deduction of Sh1,500, she would receive Sh28,500 each month for the entire gestation period, with a final sum of Sh500,000 after documentation of the child and release through court procedures.

The agreement was allegedly drafted by Mombasa-based Muthee Soni & Associates Advocates and executed by both parties.

The legal formalities were being handled by lawyer Christine Kipsang, an advocate with the Children’s Court.

Ms Kipsang produced an order issued by Tononoka Children’s Court granting parental rights to Kian Fu. The birth certificate indicates Kariuki as the child's mother and Kian Fu as the father.

The baby was taken to a rescue centre pending an application for protection and care. Pre-trial is scheduled for August 13.

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