Ugandan police reportedly rescued 40 Christian kids allegedly kidnapped by a Muslim man pretending to work for a Christian charity.
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Authorities believe the 27-year-old man lured these kids, ages 5 to 16, to a hotel based on the false promise of an education.
Police reportedly rescued the 40 kids Feb. 2 from that hotel; officials purportedly believe there were plans to kidnap and sell them to a militant group, Morning Star News reported.
The alleged scheme was first caught by a pastor who heard from church members about a Christian organization promising scholarships for kids to attend school in central Uganda.
The preacher told Morning Star News some parents had decided to take the organization up on the opportunity, which turned out to be fake — and potentially dangerous for the children.
“On Feb. 2, an elder of mine informed me of many children from the church in a Continental Hotel in Arua town in West Nile Sub-Region,” the preacher told Morning Star News on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisal. “I got concerned and rang the police to check on the children, because I was not involved in the whole process.”
The pastor’s actions reportedly proved life-saving, as police rushed to the scene and recovered the children. The outlet reported the kids were already booked on a bus to travel to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, en route to a “school” that doesn’t exist.
Through investigations, police also found out the scheme’s leader was a Muslim pretending to be a Christian, with the unnamed pastor noting this tactic helped him take the 40 children.
These kids were to allegedly be sold to the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), a rebel group with ties to the Islamic State terror organization.
Authorities are looking for additional accomplices and also arrested a 28-year-old woman in connection to the disturbing case.
“We thank God for rescuing our children,” the preacher said.
Officials are now reportedly warning parents about such schemes.
Read more about the case here.
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