Malawi: Zambia Extradites Chinese Children Exploiter to Malawi

Judge's gavel (file photo)

Blantyre, Malawi — Authorities in Zambia have extradited a Chinese citizen who fled Malawi last month over accusations of selling exploitative videos to China of Malawian children.

Police in Malawi told VOA Sunday that their counterparts in Zambia handed over Lu Ke to them Saturday night in the Mchinji district which borders Zambia.

"He is in police custody. He was handed over by our friends from Zambia. As of now he has been charged with trafficking in persons, but other charges may be added," said Harry Namwaza, the deputy spokesperson for Malawi Police Service.

Lu Ke fled Malawi last month where police were searching for him after a British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) investigation found he was recording young villagers in central Malawi and making them say racist things about themselves in Mandarin.

In one video, children, some as young as nine years of age, are heard saying in Mandarin that they are a "black monster" and have a "low IQ."

The BBC reported he was selling the videos at up to $70 apiece to a Chinese website. The kids performing in the videos were paid about half-a-dollar each.

The news sparked outrage in Malawi forcing various rights organizations to hold street protests and present a petition to the Chinese Embassy in the capital, Lilongwe.

In the petition, the protesters asked the government of China to compensate the children in the videos for being fooled to say words in a foreign language they could not understand.

Comfort Mankhwazi is the president of the University of Malawi Child Rights Legal Clinic, which led the protests.

She told VOA Sunday that she is happy with the extradition.

"Because we feel like this is one of those things we had in our petition, what we wanted, and we got that. We truly hope that this extradition and the arrest will lead to something big like the prosecution in our courts and finally those victims will be able to get justice they deserve," she said.

There were no official comments from Chinese authorities on the extradition of Lu Ke as of Sunday.

However, police spokesperson Namwaza said Lu Ke is expected to appear in court soon.

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