11 under investigation in France for buying babies

21st October 2005, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Oct 21 (AFP) - Eleven people suspected of buying Bulgarian babies in an illegal adoption racket have been put under criminal investigation in France, a state prosecutor said Friday.

PARIS, Oct 21 (AFP) - Eleven people suspected of buying Bulgarian babies in an illegal adoption racket have been put under criminal investigation in France, a state prosecutor said Friday.

Another two people were expected to also be put under investigation Friday -- a step short of indictment.

Prosecutor Francois Molins said all the suspects were being released on bail after being informed of the legal action.

The 13 suspects were arrested this week when police raids of gypsy camps in different parts of France located nine babies allegedly sold by young Bulgarian women sent to France to give birth.

According to French authorities, French couples paid a Bulgarian ring 5,000 to 6,000 euros for a child, of which 400 to 1,000 euros went to the mother. The couples then made false statements on French birth records to claim the children were theirs.

Molins said the raids were the result of a police investigation started last year when a Bulgarian woman lodged a complaint of child kidnapping.

Ten other individuals were arrested months before the swoop, including the suspected mastermind of the ring, he said.

The recovered babies, all aged up to 18 months, were said to be in good health.

"The attitude of the arrested 'parents' can be explained by their desire to have children either because they didn't have any or because of painful situations to do with genetic illnesses for those who already had children," Molins said.

Those under investigation risk between six months and 20 months in prison if convicted on charges of human trafficking, falsification of birth certificates and inciting child abandonment.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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