Liberia: Mariah Luyken Found Guilty of Child Trafficking After Two Years of Legal Battle

26 October 2020

26 OCTOBER 2020FrontPageAfrica (Monrovia)

By Lennart Dodoo

Monrovia — Criminal Court 'B' at the Temple of Justice has adjudged Ms. Mariah Luyken guilty of child trafficking. She was found liable of sending the children of two Liberian women to the United States of America without the consent of their mothers, Mathaline Johnson & Elizabeth Johnson.

She was accused along with two alleged accomplices Ernest Urey and Edwin Walk, but the Court ruled that the prosecution did not provide sufficient evidence to link the alleged cohorts.

Last Friday's ruling ends a two-year case that has been dangling in the courts.

Our Judicial Correspondent further revealed that hours to the Court's verdict several women believe to be support of the victims' mothers attacked defendant Maria Morgan at the Temple of Justice in demand of the children.

Defendant Maria Morgan and two others were indicted in 2018 for trafficking two Liberian kids to the United States of America unknown to the kid's mothers Mathaline Johnson & Elizabeth Johnson.

Upon the ruling, women supporting the two mothers vented their anger on Ms. Luyken and mercilessly beat her in the premises of the court. She was rescued by the Liberia National Police.

Luyken has been accused on multiple occasions of being a notorious child trafficker. She runs an adoption agency, West African Children Support Network, which she uses to adopt children and traffic them to the United States - leaving no trace to their biological parents.

In 2009, 35 children were taken from her agency because the adoption agency did not follow adoption laws and some of the children were allegedly being mistreated.

At the time of this case, Canada had stopped adoptions from Liberia because of the alleged child trafficking going on in Liberia. The U.S. Embassy in Liberia, however, still accepted adoption-related orphan visa applications from U.S. citizens. According to some social media activists, including one "Ida Mae" on Twitter, Ms Luyken allegedly trafficked about 550 children out of Liberia.