Teacher held for try­ing to sell stu­dent

The Sun (Malaysia) - - NEWS WITHOUT BORDERS -

KIEV: A school teacher on Wed­nes­day ap­peared in court in Ukraine af­ter al­legedly try­ing to sell a 13-year-old school­girl un­der her care for more than US$10,000 (RM44,000)

Ga­lyna Ko­valenko, 52, who has been charged with hu­man traf­fick­ing, faces up to 15 years’ jail if guilty of tar­get­ing the girl who was a stu­dent at the state board­ing school where she worked.

Ko­valenko de­nies the charges and says she has been set up.

She was de­tained on Monday af­ter al­legedly be­ing “caught red-handed as she took the girl from her board­ing school, led her to the buy­ers and re­ceived money”, in­te­rior min­is­ter Arsen Avakov wrote on Face­book.

The court in the east­ern city of Kharkiv re­manded her in cus­tody for two months pend­ing her trial.

State board­ing schools in Ukraine are usu­ally in poor con­di­tion and the stu­dents come from un­der­priv­i­leged back­grounds.

The teacher “had been work­ing for nearly a year on this project to sell the 13-year-old girl”, Avakov said.

The court heard that the teacher was de­tained af­ter po­lice set up a sting.

Avakov said ear­lier in an­other post that “the buyer even asked about the child’s state of health, hint­ing at or­gan re­moval – and she (Ko­valenko) agreed to pro­vide the girl’s pho­tos and med­i­cal record” for ad­di­tional money.

Be­fore ap­pear­ing in court, the teacher protested her in­no­cence to jour­nal­ists, say­ing: “I do not ad­mit guilt. Some­one is try­ing to set me up.” – AFP

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