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African boys vanish in London.

HUNDREDS of young African boys have disappeared from schools in London, police investigating the murder of a child whose torso was found in the River Thames revealed yesterday.

To try to identify the body, the victim of a suspected ritualistic killing, Metropolitan Police officers asked every education authority in London how many black boys aged between four and seven had gone missing.

In one three-month period between July and September 2001, some 300 children were found to have disappeared.

There was nothing to suggest that they had been murdered, but a lack of immigration records made it impossible to trace them.

The headless and limbless body, named Adam by police, was found in the river near Tower Bridge in September 2001.

Police suspect he was the victim of a ritual killing after being brought to Britain from Nigeria.

Tests suggest the boy, believed to have been aged between four and six and have been alive when he arrived in London, may have been poisoned. Evidence found in Adam's lower intestine was identified as being the highly poisonous calabar bean.

Child welfare experts fear that many African children are brought into the country for the purposes of benefit fraud and few are traced
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Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:May 14, 2005
Words:202
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