Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Eight held over selling of babies

KUALA LUMPUR: Police uncovered a major baby-selling syndicate with the arrest of eight women in separate raids in the Klang Valley over the weekend.

Three babies, who were about to be sold, and two pregnant foreigners, were also rescued in the operation which police believed uncovered a major syndicate with international links.

Since last year, police have crippled four baby-selling syndicates, and now believed that all four syndicates were linked.

"The syndicate had bases in the Klang Valley, Sarawak and Johor," said Federal Criminal Investigation Department director Datuk Seri Mohd Bakri Zinin.

He said since the operation began in July last year, when they crippled the first syndicate in Kuching, police have rescued 22 babies and arrested 30 suspects.

"Many of the babies are sold to childless couples in neighbouring countries," he said, adding that the babies were sold when they were between the ages of four-days-old and a week.

The syndicates charged between RM15,000 and RM20,000 for each child depending on its general health, looks and skin colour.

All 22 babies are now in the custody of the Welfare Department and several hospitals pending the outcome of the investigations.

"We are working with counterparts in neighbouring countries to establish the network of this syndicate and to trace the number of babies which had been sold in those countries," Bakri said in Bukit Aman yesterday.

"Investigations are expected to take another three months before the entire operations of the syndicate and its network is uncovered."

Bakri said among the 30 who were arrested was a couple, both doctors, who had been operating a private hospital in Jalan Ipoh, here.

While admitting that this was one of the biggest syndicates which police had crippled, Bakri added that they would also go after the couples who bought these babies illegally.

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