This combo image shows the toddlers with the maid (left image, faces obscured) and with Captain Wafa Khalil Al Housani from the Social Centre. The children were handed over to their grandmother but the scene was emotional as they refused to be parted with the maid. Image Credit: Ajman Police

Ajman: Ajman Police have traced the parents of two Arab toddlers left in the care of an Ethiopian maid for 16 months in Ajman.

Captain Wafa Khalil Al Housani, director of the Social Centre, told Gulf News that police were tipped off on March 2 by a neighbour concerned about the welfare of the two boys.

They swung into action, kicking off investigations and obtaining permission from the Public Prosecution to enter the apartment.

Police officers found one of the toddlers in poor health and rushed him to a hospital, together with his brother, where they spent two days under the watchful eyes of doctors.

The Ethiopian maid told police during questioning that the boys’ mother had employed her in November 2017 before disappearing the very next day.

It was also established that the maid was absconding and was still under the sponsorship of another family.

Further investigations revealed that the father was in jail in connection with a drug case, while the mother was a fugitive wanted in connection with criminal charges. She was hiding out at a friend’s house in Sharjah.

“The mother had evaded her responsibility in taking care of her children and leaving them at the mercy of an absconded maid for 16 months,” Captain Al Housani said.

The Ethiopian maid, it turns out, was doing what she could to take care of the children. Making a friend stay with the toddlers during the night, she would go out to work so she could earn some money and provide the two boys with food and clothing.

A search for the relatives of the family resulted in police locating the boys’ grandmother in Al Ain.

It was an emotional scene as the boys cried and clung to the maid, who they had become so attached to, when police attempted to hand them over to their grandmother.

Police thanked the maid for her kindness and the mercy she showed in taking care of the children. As a show of gratitude, they waived her fines and provided her with an airline ticket and money to travel back to Ethiopia.