Avatar photo

By Narissa Subramoney

Deputy digital news editor

KZN baby reunited with grandfather after human trafficking scare

The baby has been safely returned to her grandfather after being taken from her home.

A KwaZulu-Natal baby that was allegedly stolen from her grandparent and legal guardian in Dawncrest, Verulam, during a family dispute has been located in Reservoir Hills.

Fourteen-month-old Nadia Veerasamy, who lives with her grandfather and aunt, was first abandoned by her drug-addicted mother in Isipingo last year when she was just an infant.

Her grandfather was thereafter appointed as her legal guardian. Her mother’s whereabouts remain unknown.

Strange couple pitches up at family gathering

Then, in early March, her grandfather (who does not want to be identified) was hosting a family gathering when a strange couple pitched up at the house in a silver Mercedes-Benz.

The couple told Nadia’s grandfather that they’d come to ‘view the child as pre-arranged with Nadia’s uncle.’

Nadia’s grandfather was taken aback by the stranger’s request and called his son for clarity.

But an argument ensued between the grandfather and his son, prompting the couple to leave the gathering.

Nadia’s uncle disappears with her hours later

Later that night, Nadia’s uncle arrived at the family home in Verulam and took the baby and her belongings from her grandfather’s care.

In the days that followed, Nadia’s grandfather and extended family made numerous frantic calls to her uncle about her whereabouts.

Her uncle dodged all calls and blocked family members from his social media accounts, which led to her grandfather getting the police involved.

He was, however, allegedly turned away by the police because only parents can report their child missing.

Nadia’s grandfather then contacted private security company Reaction Unit South Africa (Rusa) for assistance.

Nadia found in Reservoir Hills

Within hours of registering a complaint with Rusa, its members managed to locate Nadia in Reservoir Hills, in a home belonging to the couple that had visited the family gathering.

Nadia’s grandfather is convinced that his son made a deal with the couple to sell his grandchild to the couple.

While at the home, Rusa spokesperson Prem Balram said the couple admitted that money had changed hands but they refused to divulge any more details because they wanted legal assistance.

Baby Nadia is safe. Picture: Reaction Unit South Africa

“They were very cooperative and they didn’t want to provide further information because they are consulting a lawyer,” said Balram.

Balram said Rusa officers had also spoken to Nadia’s uncle about her whereabouts, but he allegedly lied, telling officers that Nadia was with his family on the South Coast.

“He even promised to video call me in the afternoon with proof of life,” said Balram, who had already located Nadia in Reservoir Hills.

Balram said that the couple also admitted to not being able to conceive a child.

Nadia’s grandfather has been advised by Rusa to open a case of human trafficking with the police.

The Citizen has asked police to comment on the story. We are awaiting their response and will update the story when we hear from them.

Baby Nadia was found in a Reservior Hills home. Picture: Reaction Unit South Africa

NOW READ: Kidnapping and trafficking cases on the rise in SA

Read more on these topics

human trafficking