The wife of a millionaire London-based preacher at the centre of a baby-smuggling investigation was behind bars in Kenya last night.
Mary Deya, 57, was arrested at the Kenyatta National Hospital, Nairobi, after walking in with a day-old boy she claimed was her son who had been conceived without her having sex.
She said she became pregnant after her husband, the self-styled “Archbishop” Gilbert Deya, prayed over her. However, tests showed that Mrs Deya had not given birth and police were called.
Kenyan-born Deya, 53, leads one of Britain’s fastest growing evangelical churches, with a £1 million headquarters in Peckham, south-east London. It claims 34,000 members in 14 branches nationwide.
He and his wife are under investigation in Kenya and Britain over allegations that they are involved in a baby-smuggling operation centred on a Nairobi slum hospital. Scores of childless British couples have attended services at the Gilbert Deya ministries, where Deya claims that his prayers make infertile women pregnant.
Several women, all black, then travelled to back-street clinics in Nairobi and gave birth to “miracle babies”, despite showing no signs of pregnancy.
Dozens of Kenyan couples have said their babies were taken from them hours after they were born, all at the Pumwani Maternity Hospital which serves Nairobi’s poorest slums. Police fear that the babies were stolen to order.