At least three Congolese children, declared to be orphans and adopted in Belgium, in fact still have biological parents in their country of origin. After abduction, they were taken away to an orphanage in Kinshasa. Upon arrival they were given false names.
This is reported today (Friday) in Het Laatste Nieuws.
Their adoptive parents in Belgium knew nothing of this.
The Federal Public Prosecutor’s Office discovered that the children, who arrived in Belgium in 2015, had been taken.
They were given other identities and dates of birth. However it transpires that the children were not all intended for adoption.
Reporters from the publication Het Laatste Nieuws left in search of the biological parents and found them. The parents explained that they were given the chance to send their offspring to a campsite, via a youth organisation.
The children never returned from this “campsite”. Desperately cheated, the parents had no money to pay a lawyer.
The parents were no longer able to count on support from local authorities. The journalists say it appears that high-level civil servants are either involved in the child trafficking, or at the very least have decided to turn a blind eye.
When the authorities learned that reporters were abreast of events, these reporters were interrogated for three days.
After that they were freed when the Belgian Embassy intervened.
The children abducted came from an orphanage with which Julienne Mpemba is involved. She is a Begian-Congolese lawyer, originally from Namur.
In the past, Ms Mpemba has featured on a Socialist Party list during elections.
She was arrested last year in Belgium. She was set free by the Criminal Division of the Court of Appeal, after six weeks in custody pending trial.
It turns out that, since 2013, Ms Mpemba and the orphanage have been liaising through Congolese human rights organisations. She is seeking to protect the interests of small children who are abducted.