Kenyan baby stealer jailed for 25 years after expose

Fred Leparan, who worked at Nairobi's Mama Lucy Kibaki hospital, was filmed accepting $2,500 (£2,000) to sell a baby boy under the hospital's care.

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A Kenyan hospital employee who was caught by the BBC selling a baby on the black market has been sentenced to 25 years in jail.

Fred Leparan, who worked at Nairobi’s Mama Lucy Kibaki hospital, was filmed accepting $2,500 (£2,000) to sell a baby boy under the hospital’s care.

He was arrested in 2020 following a BBC African Eye investigation and found guilty last month of child trafficking, child neglect and conspiracy to commit crime.

An Africa Eye reporter had initially approached Leparan posing as a potential buyer, after hearing from a source that the senior clinical social worker was involved in illegal child trafficking from the government-run hospital.

Leparan asked the undercover reporter, who said she and her husband had struggled to conceive, only cursory questions about their situation before agreeing to sell the baby boy.

On the day the baby boy and two other children were supposed to be transferred from the hospital to a state-run children’s home, Leparan was filmed falsifying the transfer paperwork so that the home would expect two children, rather than three.

The BBC team ensured that all three children were delivered directly to the children’s home, but filmed Leparan amending the paperwork and informing them that the child was theirs to take away.

A Kenyan court on Wednesday said Leparan will serve 25 years in prison, then spend 10 years on probation.

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