Mumbai: Racketeers sell babies to doctors, engineer for Rs. 4-4.5L
After busting a baby-selling racket in September, Mumbai's Wadala police traced three buyers of the infants: a Worli-based doctor, a Thane gynecologist-pediatrician couple, and a Bengaluru-based software engineer. Police said the racketeers sold babies born to poor parents for Rs. 4-4.5L each. A senior officer said three sets of parents and three sets of buyers had been identified; their statements are being recorded.
The illegal baby-selling racket was busted last month by Mumbai's Wadala Truck Terminal Police following the arrest of Julia Fernandes, a 29-year-old child trafficker from Worli. She bought a seven-day-old boy for Rs. 20,000 from 38-year-old Munna Shaikh and his wife, 35-year-old Shazia. However, she was caught by the cops before she could close a deal for Rs. 1.5L with the potential buyer.
A police official said: "The (rescued) baby was sent to a childcare center. The juvenile justice board has named him Adhiraj. His father, Shaikh, has been arrested. He told the police he was debt-ridden and wanted to repay a loan of Rs. 1 lakh."
Julia sold a child to the Bengaluru software engineer for Rs. 4.5L while the Thane doctor couple paid Rs. 4L. The amount paid by the Worli doctor has not been disclosed, but the police said the deal was made for a very low amount as the child trafficker was a patient of her. However, the police found no money in Julia's bank account.
Mumbai police teams reached Bengaluru and New Delhi to catch other involved child traffickers and buyers. They are making inquiries; cops have recovered around 50-60 photographs of some newborns who are yet to be identified. It is still unknown whether they were sold.
Mumbai police earlier said Julia Fernandes ran the baby-selling racket and sent photos of infants to her clients on WhatsApp for cracking a deal. Five days after arresting the child trafficker, police unlocked her cellphone, on 22 September, and found over 100 photographs of babies in it. The woman and her agents entirely ran the racket on the messaging application.