Woman sentenced for attempted baby smuggling

Ijeoma Udechukwu tried to smuggle two Nigerian babies into the UK Credit: Metropolitan Police

A woman who tried to smuggle two babies into the UK from Nigeria has been given a suspended sentence at Isleworth Crown Court. Ijeoma Udechukwu, who's 51 and from Kennington, was sentenced to six months imprisonment suspended for two years, after attending the British High Commission in Lagos in possession of passport applications for two babies.

Udechukwu presented two completed applications for the youngsters which she falsely claimed were hers. In fact she was attempting to assist them in gaining illegal entry into the UK.

Staff became suspicious due to her having given birth one week after her arrival in Nigeria in April 2010, and the fact she was unable to produce any ante natal or delivery notes.

A subsequent DNA test revealed she was not the biological mother of either infant and the applications were refused.

On 4 September 2012 officers from what was Operation Paladin attended Udechukwa's address in Kennington, where false Nigerian adoption papers were discovered stating that the children had been found abandoned in the street.

"This is just one example of the commitment of officers from the Sexual Offences, Exploitation and Child Abuse Command to investigate offences involving children and the risk facing them from people willing to deceive authorities and break the law. Adoption laws and procedures are in place in every country to protect the welfare and lives of vulnerable children and young people. The conviction of Udechukwu underpins the value of joint working and the commitment of all those agencies involved to safeguard children."

– Det Const Tony Foran, Metropolitan Police