Baby remains found as illegal adoption probe widens in India
POLICE have recovered the remains of five newborns and rescued 10 more babies in eastern India after authorities busted an illegal adoption racket this month, sparking a massive investigation.
Eighteen people have been arrested since last week after police rescued three stolen infants, who were being smuggled in cardboard boxes from a clinic north of Kolkata, the capital of West Bengal.
Police, who have been carrying out raids in and around the city, suspect the gang trafficked 45 newborns in two years and clinics were paid 200,000 rupees (US$2900) for a boy and half that for a girl.
State child welfare minister Sashi Panja said authorities were now investigating hundreds of private clinics.
Rajesh Kumar, a top investigator from the state police, said officers exhumed two newborn skeletons and three skulls from the premises of an adoption centre run by a charity on November 27.
On the same day, 10 baby girls were found at an old folks home in the southern part of the capital.
He said the traffickers were unable to sell the babies – aged between one and 10 months – because of the low demand for girls in India. The babies are now in hospital undergoing treatment.
Police suspect an overseas link with the racket after around US$3200 and euros were recovered from the gang and it was suspected that a baby was sold into the US.
Parents of one of the stolen baby girls recovered last week, who were reunited with her, said the clinic told them she was stillborn.
Police rescued the girl as she was being taken from the clinic in a biscuit packaging box. The plan was to hand her over to a charity, which would have passed her to an agent working for prospective parents.
Experts say couples wanting to legally adopt in India are often frustrated by lengthy bureaucratic delays and complex rules, pushing them towards the thriving illegal adoption market.
Desperately poor parents also sometimes sell their children, while others are kidnapped by traffickers, experts say. – A GERMAN working in intelligence has been exposed as “a suspect Islamist”, Germany’s domestic security agency said, following reports he was planning an attack on the agency’s headquarters.
“The Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV) has managed to expose a suspected Islamist among its associates,” the agency said, confirming local media reports.
The 51-year-old German, who was arrested for sharing “sensitive information” online, is believed to have been planning a bombing at the BfV headquarters in Cologne.
The BfV said the unnamed 51-yearold had “made Islamist remarks online under a false name, and had offered internal information during online chats”. Newspapers said he had converted to Islam in 2014.
Married with children, he was employed at a bank and had, since April, also been doing some work for the agency gathering intelligence on the Islamist scene in Germany.
Newspapers said the suspect had admitted to the allegations by making references to bomb attacks carried out “in the name of Allah”. –