17:00 GMT +316 December 2019
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    Indian Hospital Workers Charged With Stealing and Selling Babies

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    Asia & Pacific
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    Six former hospital employees in southern India, lab technicians and nurses, have been charged for taking part in an illegal adoption ring. Authorities in Karnataka state said Friday that the group, made up of three women and three men, stole young children and babies and sold them to childless couples.

    Investigator Ravi Channannavar said the group worked at five private hospitals and a government-operated facility in the city of Mysuru. There were also instances of children being stolen from homeless families and sold in large cities like Bengaluru for up to 200,000 rupees (roughly $3,000). 

    "The gang targeted poor couples coming to the hospitals to deliver or get an abortion, in which case they convinced them to deliver the child. They would then steal the babies…We have rescued three children so far and are looking for the others. There may be many more." said Channannavar, adding that the investigation uncovered 15 children sold by the group.

    Paul Sundar Singh of Karunalaya, a non-profit organizations that helps homeless children in Chennai, said, "This case is one of the few that has come to light, but there are many more unreported cases…Stealing children is a big organized crime that police are still struggling to clamp down on across the country. Cases of young children stolen from the pavements of Chennai city earlier this year are still unsolved."

    The kidnappers were arrested Tuesday after a woman informed police that her young son had been grabbed off the streets. They indicated that a doctor was involved in the conspiracy as well.

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    Tags:
    Human Trafficking, Child Exploitation, Kidnapping, India
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