Kenyan authorities yesterday issued an arrest warrant for a self-styled archbishop living in the UK who fraudulently claimed to deliver “miracle babies” to infertile women.
Gilbert Deya, who heads a 36,000-strong evangelical congregation, claimed that the power of prayer had helped dozens of women to give birth.
However, Kenyan authorities suspect him of organising a child-smuggling ring whereby women travel from the UK to Kenya to collect babies which they later claim were the result of miraculous conception.
In August last year, his wife, Mary Juma, was arrested after police found 10 young children at her house. DNA tests showed she was related to only one of them. A further 12 children were found at two other addresses.
A British High Court judge ruled last November that one of Deya’s “miracle babies” was not related to his supposed parents and was the victim of a child-smuggling ring motivated by “financial greed”.
The arrest warrant for Deya, who last year stayed in Glasgow and had a parish in London, was issued by a Kenyan court yesterday and is expected to be passed to British authorities.
It is not clear whether Deya is still staying in Glasgow. Aamer Anwar, his solicitor, said last night: “We will obviously have to look into this. We have not received any information to advise that a warrant for his arrest has been issued.
“My client has said before that he would fight any attempt to extradite him because of concern over whether he would receive a fair trial in Kenya.”
Rosemelle Mutoka, a senior magistrate in Nairobi, issued the warrant after state prosecutors said Deya was suspected of abducting five infants between 1999 and August last year.
Court officials said the warrant would be forwarded to UK officials so that they could send him back to Kenya.
Deya’s claims surfaced again at the weekend, when his wife said she had given birth to a miracle baby in Nairobi. Hospital doctors dismissed the claim as false and called the police, who arrested her.